21st Century Leadership Requires Authenticity — Here’s how

It’s one thing to be promoted into a management role, but it’s entirely another to be regarded as a leader to inspire a company’s culture.

Certainly, you need advanced skill sets – from business knowledge and mental toughness to likeability. You also need the confidence of your employees.

These are admirable traits. But bear in mind for 21st-century leadership success, authenticity is ultimately needed.

To get ready for leadership, it’s a positive step to assess your skills to be relevant as a leader — for example, t0 examine whether you’re mentally tough or whether you engage your employees well enough.

For many people lacking such skills, there’s a quandary. Impressionable people coveting a leadership role often try to copy the styles of their role models.

But is coping others a good practice? No.

It’s important to note that what works for one person isn’t applicable for another. Each person has different experiences, strengths and values.

The goal should be to capitalize on personal traits to develop an original style.

For there isn’t just one right-way to lead your employees – introverts can be just as successful as extroverts.

You don’t have to evolve into a new persona. It simply means improving your focus combined with discipline to authentically be yourself to capitalize on your own background.

What really matters is knowing how you impact others.

To capitalize and maximize your talent as a leader, consider these six  steps:

1. Realize you have a rich background

Start with the realization that your background experiences have already laid the foundation become a leader.

Insightful people have mastered the important skills in their own style. They don’t try to emulate the style of others. They are confident and authentic.

The trick is to become so self-aware that you don’t engage in self-doubt.

2. Do a self- inventory

Remember Socrates’ famous admonition, “Know thyself.” You should write down your values, strengths and weaknesses.

Study what business factors make you lose sleep and what enables you to sleep well.

Determine your attributes for emotional intelligence for leadership success. You must learn about your talent to evaluate, understand, and control emotions.

Then, at the bottom of the page write down your purpose or ultimate goal.

Next, strategize on how to hone your strengths, which will lessen your shortcomings, in order to align your character and values with your role as a leader in order to reach your goal.

Learn how to compensate for your flaws.

Start understanding what motivates you to success and how you want to inspire your employees.

In this way, you’ll learn how to use your strengths to your advantage – for both you and your organization.

What really matters is knowing how you impact others.

3. Develop your communication skills

Each situation during your day requires a different approach. You must be adaptable. For instance, your one-on-one approach will different from giving a speech to your team.

But in each situation, know that your employees like predictability and stability. In any situation, they should be able to spot your consistency in personality.

4. Keep confidences

It’s one thing to be open and transparent. But many situations require being discreet. That means being tactful and withholding inappropriate specifics.

When in doubt before speaking or writing, ask yourself: “Will this be productive to convey my values and help me reach my objectives?”

Often times, you’ll find the answer is no.

5. Confidently act on your strengths

To enhance the welfare of your business, capitalizing on your strengths sometimes means being inclusionary on your business challenges. People who deliver bad news well have the right traits.

For instance, as an extrovert, sometimes you’ll need to compensate for your flaws by getting others involved in certain situations.

If you’re too direct and perceived as a Hitler, get others involved in the process. This is critical if it’s important to boost the morale of your staff.

On the other hand, if you’re introverted by nature, enlist the capabilities of others to implement and convey drastic measures such as in cutting expenses or laying-off of workers.

6. Monitor your staff with confidence

Being a leader – acting for the organization’s overall welfare – means you’re not always going to make popular decisions.

Confident executives are at ease in getting staff input or feedback. Again, they don’t engage in self-doubt.

They promote success if they continually focus on the right approach to benefit the business but manage their employees with dignity and respect.

Be empathetic to negative feedback. But do what’s ultimately right.

Not everyone will be happy, but the majority of valued employees will be understand the valid reasons and will be accepting of the process.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related leadership resources:

5 Top Leadership Philosophies in Business Management — From Seattle to Singapore, top managers show leadership by coaching their teams to success. They accomplish goals with five habitual philosophies.

Mindset, Best Practices in Strategic Leadership for Growth — Whatever your situation in pursuing growth, the mindset and best practices in strategic leadership means maintaining a delicate balance – preparing for details and keeping an open mind regarding business uncertainty.

As Trustworthy Leaders, Great Bosses Have 5 Traits — Trust, or lack of it, is an obstacle to leadership. It’s a mega issue in America. It’s reached crisis proportions. Published polls show Americans distrust their political leaders, journalists and CEOs. So it’s obvious there are countless missed opportunities in politics, the news media and business. A Stanford professor provides solutions.

7 Thought Leadership Tactics for Strong Performance — For a company to achieve strong performance, its culture and employees must be aligned with business strategy to provide value. But more and more, it seems employees can’t even articulate business strategy. Therefore, management must identify and communicate effective programs that are aligned with employee behavior in order to blaze new paths and fuel business growth.

Leadership: How Leaders Employ 11 Strengths to Grow Businesses — Ascension to the C-suite doesn’t automatically qualify an executive as a leader. Leaders have 11 strengths that enable them to manage their companies for greater effectiveness and elasticity despite a fast-changing marketplace.

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.”

-Henry Ford


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

13 Management Tips to Solve Employee Absenteeism

Absenteeism causes migraines for a lot of bosses. Obviously, your company will make healthier profits, if you don’t have an absenteeism problem.

Check your attendance records. You’ll see Monday is the most-abused day of the week and January is the worst month for absenteeism.

For good reason, employers often cringe because they distrust the reasons some employees call in sick. 

Absenteeism can be a real head slapper.

But it’s crucial to be open-minded and to consider the perspectives of your employees.

Absenteeism is a red flag that your employees aren’t fully engaged in their work.

They often feel a lack of support from management, and are frustrated with a lack of tools and resources that limit their performance.

This typically results in inefficiency or minimal productivity, high turnover, increased costs in sick pay and replacement employees, and customer dissatisfaction.

Further, high absenteeism is one of the five prime indicators that your workplace environment is toxic.

The other four indicators:

— Your employees aren’t recommending your company to their friends as a great place to work.

— Employees with the highest absenteeism usually lack friends among their coworkers.

— Workers don’t actively support your customer-service initiatives – usually because they don’t love their jobs.

— Your customers aren’t fans of your company, and customer feedback doesn’t meet your expectations.

Check your attendance records. You’ll see Monday is the most-abused day of the week and January is the worst month for absenteeism.

Manage the problem

Here are 13 tips to manage absenteeism:

  1. Start by making sure your efforts don’t lead to legal problems. In this litigious society, it’s important to avoid EEOC discrimination suits.
  2. Train your managers. True, they need to know your legal obligations. But train them in employee engagement, and how to deal with disgruntled workers.
  3. Remember the phrase, “Let it begin with me.” It’s important to make certain that you’re perceived as an effective leader, not just a supervisor. Lead by a disciplined example. Be a leader, not a caretaking manager. Remember leaders continuously upgrade recruitment procedures.
  4. Evaluate your culture. It’s not easy to develop a culture in which everyone is on the same page. If profits are at stake, a cultural change is in order.
  5. Understand the root causes and the gravity of the problem. Is it with just one employee or is it widespread among your workers? Try to be patient with individuals. Personal problems are often factors, as are long commutes to work. Carefully recruit workers who live fairly close to the workplace.
  6. Incentivize fewer days off. It’s not always necessary to pay higher wages. Strangely, less-efficient workers take fewer breaks. So encourage them to take breaks and socialize with one another.
  7. Everyone needs a vacation to avoid stress and health problems. Create an annual leave policy and enforce it. That includes not allowing employees to cash out their vacations.
  8. Clearly indicate a policy that complies with FMLA. But you can legally take steps to make certain it isn’t abused, for example, require a doctor’s confirmation for any leave.
  9. Double-down on efforts for employee engagement. Listen to your staff. Let employees know you care about their welfare, and that you appreciate their dedication to the organization. You’ll generate more profits if you partner with your employees.
  10. Discuss operational costs – the link between their attendance and productivity. Explain how their roles affect the success of the organization – from teamwork and morale to customer satisfaction.
  11. Make work fun. Reduce boredom with job enrichment, rotation and cross training.
  12. Be flexible. Try to accommodate special requests or scheduling.
  13. Celebrate business successes with your team. It’s great for team-building.

From the Coach’s Corner, see these related links:

Small Business – Easy Ways to Boost Your Employees’ Morale Employee morale affects performance. Study after study shows a significant percentage of worker morale is mediocre, at best. That’s often the case even for companies that are able to pay competitive wages and benefits. As you might guess, it’s a bigger quandary for business owners that don’t have enough cash flow for raises.

How You Can Eliminate Destructive Conflict for Better TeamworkFor better employee-team decision-making and higher performance, it’s true that constructive conflict works. Usually, the best ideas evolve when ideas are discussed and debated. But when employees fail to exercise self control and their egos get in the way, emotions flare and cliques are formed in the workplace. That’s destructive conflict.

Workplace Bullies May Hurt Retention of All Employees, Not Just VictimsVictims of workplace bullies are less likely to quit than employees who observe the abuse, according to a study by a Canadian university. The 2012 research implies a costly threat to an organization’s teamwork and productivity.

How Not to Worry about Keeping Your Top EmployeesIncreasingly, employers are worried about filling open slots and retaining their best workers, according to a 2012 survey of 526 human resources professionals. Sixty-one percent indicate they’re concerned about retention.

The leader follows in front.


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 

Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

20 Warning Signs You’re Under-Performing as a Manager

There are indeed 20 warning signs that managers are under-performing. Managers can often struggle whether they’re new or even if they’re experienced. Poor management, of course, leads to poor performance.

As red flags, under-performing managers share one of two common traits with their ineffective employees. Such managers aren’t fully aware of their shortcomings.

Even if they are aware of deficiencies, they’re afraid to admit it.

Either way, nothing is done about the shortcomings. Accountability suffers.

There are 20 typical warning signs.

Here’s a list of questions – 20 tell-tale signs that you’re underperforming as a manager:

1. Is your department underperforming? It can be attributed to ineffective management.

2. Are you getting positive performance reviews from your boss? If not, that’s an indicator.

3. Do you have a strong image ? If you don’t enjoy employee loyalty or if peers are snubbing you, those are omens.

4. Are you a stress carrier? Whether its personal stress caused by conditions at home or career challenges, it can adversely affect your work relationships.

5. Do you engage in self-doubt? Weak decisions prompt actions leading to poor results.

6. Do your employees communicate well with you? Sometimes employees are distant because they’re unhappy with your style.

7. Are you careful to surround yourself with great employees? You don’t want a lot of yes-people. You want thinkers who will take ownership of their work.

8. Are you clear with your expectations of employee performance? If you’re nebulous in day-to-day interactions, instructions or in formal reviews, employees won’t deliver.

9. Do you make good investment for short-term and long-term success? Whether it’s technology or human resources training, good managers take productive steps and make insightful investments.

Poor management, of course, leads to poor performance.

10. Are you a go-to person? Does your boss look to you for solutions and projects, or are you overlooked? This means you’re not viewed as being a valuable resource.

11. Are you open-minded? Do you step outside your comfort zone? This means being able to be innovative and assertive, and you don’t settle for mediocrity.

12. Are you ambitious but disappointed with your career progress toward the C-suite? A manager who is good CEO-material has knowledge and ability in all areas of the business, not necessarily a doctorate-level expertise in any particular segment of the business.

13. Are you constantly looking for ways to improve? The best managers are voracious readers, and look for sources of good ideas and processes.

14. Do you instill a customer-focused organization? Task-oriented managers who are not focused on customer needs will not maximize profits.

15. Do you meet goals? If goals aren’t being met – whether it’s your department or your individual employees – performance will not been enhanced.

16. Do you have weak links on your team? It’s possible to have high-performing workers, but prima donnas are a liability if they don’t work well with others.

17. Are you ensuring company policies and values are upheld? If not the culture will be endangered and profits will suffer.

18. Are you on top of budgetary matters? In this business climate, it’s imperative to have a clear view of your department or company finances.

19. Do you regularly assess your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? This is crucial for goal-setting and strategic planning.

20. Do you recognize employee and company success? Celebrations are good for everyone’s morale.

From the Coach’s Corner, for effective management, here are more resource links:

Leadership Strategies to Profit from Employee Respect — Even though Wall Street gets ecstatic over productivity growth, merely slashing costs and jobs to create profit is not sustainable for profits. Investors mistakenly believe the earnings for such publicly held companies are good, but it will not last. Workers are realizing they’re not sharing in the wealth. Poor morale will cause profits to plummet, and consumer demand will continue to plunge

Human Resources – Power Your Brand with Employee Empowerment — Are you investing in marketing, but not getting the anticipated return on your investment? If you’re disappointed by your ROI, remember marketing may or may not be the problem. Why? Consider there are two basic reasons for poor profits — again, that’s profits not revenue. The reasons include failure to adapt to a dynamic marketplace and failing to solve the internal factors that impede the control of costs, performance and quality.

Management Best-Practices Include Solid Operations Checklists — Are you concerned about profits? Would you like for your business to be in a class of its own? Not to oversimplify, obstacles to profits result from two basic barriers: External and internal challenges, or a combination of both.

21 Quick Tips to Avoid the Dark Side of Management — News headlines from Seattle to New York are cause for some serious head slapping. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to be inundated with worker complaints. Even the U.S. State Department issued a critical report of an ambassador, a Seattle businesswoman who was a prolific fundraiser for the first Obama election campaign.

15 HR Strategies to Improve Your Business Performance — Studies show many employees are dissatisfied in their workplaces. Employee dissatisfaction, of course, will adversely affect a company’s performance. The dissatisfaction is global and the trend is likely to continue unless businesses improve their approach.

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

-Theodore Roosevelt


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.