We all know that a network is important for success, but few of us devote sufficient time to making it useful. If you leave things to chance, your network will be too inward-facing and not diverse enough. You need to learn to network outside your organization, team, and close connections. Here are some practical steps to start developing a stronger network:
Visit a start-up within your sector. Consider why incumbents rarely lead the way in new products and services.
Attend a new conference.
Start a LinkedIn or Facebook group.
Teach a course at a local college. Learn from your students.
Go to lunch with a peer from a competing company. Learn more about your market value.
Connect with someone you’ve lost track of. Ask this person to help you connect with someone new.
Adapted from “How to Revive a Tired Network” by Herminia Ibarra.
“Acquire and value the new skills fit for the times, such as being a connector or orchestrator; connect across the world and become globally fluent; develop a leadership grouping; and do not think you can do it on your own – collaborate and partner with others.” Extract from ‘Cities of Ambition’ by Charles Landry.
Curated by Trevor Lee
You can gauge the health of a virtual team by measuring the average lag time between when team members identify a problem and when they discuss it.
If you and your colleagues don’t trust one another, issues will go unaddressed for much longer than they should.
That’s why it is critical for members of a virtual team to establish trust and a sense of safety up front.
Trusting people is hard when you don’t work with them face-to-face, but even the smallest of gestures can help: Be generous with information.
If someone is struggling with a project or task, be the first to offer help. And when someone on the team has even a minor success, send a congratulatory email.
A little kindness goes a long way in encouraging others to give you the benefit of the doubt
when stresses inevitably arise.
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.
People need organismic integration !!
It’s the process through which people develop as they engage in their world (organizationally and personally). But when we apply undue pressure to enact organizational change, and fail to garnish their input, do you know what generally happens? ——————————— Rebellion.
High-performing organizational leaders link people in a way that fosters inclusion. Nobody wants the “fifth wheel” label, and perceptive, dream-weaver leaders intuitively grasp this.
Meaningful change occurs when people accept themselves, take interest in why they do what they do, and then decide that they’re ready to do it differently.
Inundated with land mines, the organizational field requires agile players. We need to equip them by linking their minds in the fashion that garnishes a network of idea factories that carpet the organization’s floor. In the words of Steve Jobs,
Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.
Perhaps it’s befitting to share a story that sums up the essence of what kind of leadership the new economy we are in requires.
On September 23rd, 2005, Warren and Pam Adams lost their home when Hurricane Rita slammed ashore in Gilchrist, Texas, with 130 mile per hour winds and a storm surge of seventeen feet. They loved the region and rebuilt on the exact spot, just a few hundred yards from the ocean.
Three years later, history repeated itself.
On September 13th, 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall in the same location, buffeting the Gilchrist, Texas, coastline with 110 mile per hour winds and an eighteen-foot storm surge.
This hurricane, with its massive wind field, would go down in the history books as the third most costly storm to strike the U.S. mainland. Here’s the interesting part: it destroyed every coastal dwelling near where it made landfall. Except one. The house that the Adams rebuilt.
The structure survived, perfectly intact, because they built it on fourteen-foot pylons. News media outlets dubbed it, “The Last House Standing.”
This story illustrates a poignant certainty. Build your organization on the shifting sand of rhetoric and it won’t survive the onslaught of social, economic, and political waves that crash against its jetty. The latest technology, a rich legacy, and a pile of cash aren’t enough to hold back the raging surf. Rather, dynamic and dream-weaver leaders are the pylons that’ll keep it intact.
But here’s the takeaway. There’s a tectonic shift afoot within social and economic frameworks around the globe. Barriers that stood cemented in place for centuries are crashing down, becoming relics of a time since past.
Therefore, let’s sandblast bravado off the walls of organizations and replace it with—collaboration.
Becoming a vanguard organization means tapping into the deep reservoir of the human mind to promote the exchange of information and experience.
The success rate of business mergers comes in a distant second to that of marriages. Bain & Company (2004) put the U.S. failure rate at 70%, defined in terms of failure to increase shareholder value. Hay Group and the Sorbonne (2009) found that more than 90% of mergers in Europe fail to achieve their financial goals.
Never make a formal offer until every aspect of that offer has been tested and agreed on beforehand. Easy to remember, but hard to fix if you forget. Once you’ve formally extended an offer, you’ve seriously limited your options. The applicant becomes the buyer, the company the seller. Open communication stops dead. Candidates stop thinking about why they want the job and start worrying about why they DON’T want it.
An offer extended while there’s still doubt often gets an “I have to think about it” response. Thinking about an offer is fine – but once you’ve extended it your own flexibility is weakened. It’s much better to have an applicant think about all aspects of an offer BEFORE you formally put it together.
Here’s another important point: Before you extend a formal offer, you get unbiased information. After, that same attempt to determine a candidate’s interest can come across as harassment, pushiness or over-selling. Contentious salary negotiations become awkward and stressful, because neither party wants to lose face. Deals often fall apart at this point for relatively unimportant reasons.
Start by testing a candidate’s general interest in the position. Ask, “Assuming an attractive offer, do the job and the challenge appeal to you?” This question lets you draw a line between the job and the offer, and gives both parties the chance to address concerns about the job itself. You’ll eliminate a lot of bad fits this way!
Then you can ask, “What would you think if we could put together a package in the range of £_____ to £_____?” You’ll need to go back and forth with the candidate to test the range, but this gets both parties talking in an open manner.
Don’t let the candidate forget about the competition – real or imaginary. Say something like, “Although we’re still seeing other candidates, I believe you’d make a great addition to our team. What do you think about something like £_____?” The threat of competition allows you to be a bit stronger during the negotiating phase, and tends to make the candidate more realistic.
A candidate’s hesitation on any item at this stage means there are probably other issues to be considered. Continue probing. Many objections have to do with lack of information: don’t move forward until you have addressed these concerns to everyone’s satisfaction. Now is the time to make trade-offs and be creative. If you can’t meet a particular need, offer an alternative – a signing bonus instead of a too-high salary, for example. Find out now if this could turn out to be a deal-breaker.
Work on all these points until you come to an agreement – or at least an understanding. You’ll both discover that this give-and-take process is much easier WITHOUT a formal offer on the table. And when all the objections have been addressed in a mutually satisfactory fashion, THEN you’re ready to get to the final offer.