Overconfident Leader Danger

Overconfident Leader Danger

Leading in an overconfident manner with excessive pride and little agility has no place in leadership, particularly at the C-level. Although we’ve all seen it, this behavior can’t be tolerated or accepted as a norm. Great leaders call on their team, colleagues, clients and bosses for honest advice and welcome collaboration.


Nobody can be a subject matter expert in all areas. Executives must embrace their colleagues and bosses’ value and advice versus making arrogance-based decisions.  Leaders who protect their team’s value at the expense of productivity and accuracy are particularly egregious. They instill a protective barrier that breaks down communication between other departments, peers and their bosses.

How Overconfidence Affects an Organization

It has been proven repeatedly that overconfidence causes destruction. C-suite leaders must understand that decisions on the executive level have deep and lasting impacts. It destroys relationships, alienates teams and can lead to massive mistakes.

Leaders with humility have stronger company performance and are less prone to error.  Whereas overly confident leaders cost their company valuable credibility and have a much higher chance of being fired. Humble leaders admit their mistakes while arrogant leaders are unable to acknowledge their errors or recognize areas in which they can improve.

Overconfidence is a trait often acquired via increased power. As a leader’s power grows, more often than not, it becomes harder for the leader to admit mistakes or wrongdoings of any kind. Thus, they are more unwilling to learn from their mistakes to achieve a successful outcome.

Overconfident Leader Danger 1

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

A possible reason for this kind of overconfident behavior is attributed to a psychological theory called the “Dunning-Kruger effect. Leaders who experience this have a low ability to complete the task with an overconfidence that they can do it. Without the process of meta-cognitiion and self-awareness, leaders who experience the Dunning-Kruger effect, will not be able to fully learn from errors.

An additional study involved executive level participants reading a list of statements, then taking a survey on the subjects of those statements. Note that some of the subjects were actually fiction presented as fact. Participants then read a second list of statements and had to identify which they had read before and which were new. The arrogant participants were much more confident in their wrong answers being right, and the more humble ones chose the new statements more often.

Further research shows that leaders with more learning agility have more humility. This humility comes with more willingness to learn from mistakes, take more advice from peers and bosses, and change behavior and outcomes.

I define learning agility as the ability to change our behaviors and practices based on reflections from failures and successes.

Several practices that go along with learning agility are:

  1. Listen without distraction
  2. Mirror back understanding
  3. Hold after action reviews
  4. Perform a cost/benefit analysis of what to change
  5. Follow-up
  6. Measure changes

Destructive Examples of Overconfidence in Leadership

Unfortunately, it’s probably not difficult to recall an example of your own experience of overconfidence in leadership. This type of behavior can occur in a variety of settings.

One of the most devastating effects of overconfidence was the egotistical failure of the FBI and CIA to share information ahead of the terror attacks of September 11. In this case, their overconfidence combined with an almost sociopathic tendency to insist that they each were correct led to the death of thousands of innocent people. When leaders make decisions based on their own personal strategies and ideals versus doing what is right for the greater good, the end is often catastrophic.

Another well-known example of overconfidence was Kenneth Lay, the former CEO of Enron. After his initial retirement from Enron, he returned to the company to bring it back to its former glory. The company was floundering, and he was determined to save it. Instead of admitting the position they were in and asking for help, Lay resorted to unethical accounting to cover the flaws. As a result, thousands of employees and stockholders were left in financial ruin.

Interventions for Overconfident Leaders

The good news is that specific interventions can be put in place to lessen the impact of possible overconfident decision making. As expected, overconfident leaders are completely certain that they are not at fault. They may acquiescently make small adjustments to mitigate the situation, but those rarely take hold. So how do we manage or even halt this type of leadership?

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Engage in after action reviews after mistakes are made. Create a plan on how to do better next time and a separate plan on how to enforce it.
  2. Commit to learning agility. Be open to the fact that there could be better ways to solve the problem, and commit to considering alternate solutions.
  3. Hold the team accountable. If the leader can’t do it all, then the entire team must be held accountable for researching options and bringing relevant information to the table in order to implement the optimal solution.
  4. Encourage humility. Ask questions and reinforce the fact that it is ok to say, “I don’t know.”
  5. Search for developmental opportunities. Both leaders and their teams should be committed to continuously develop each other through practicing courageous conversations and holding each other accountable for a new culture of openness and psychological safety.
  6. Instill company values and ethics. Consistently review areas of improvement where constructive criticism is encouraged and high ethical standards are lauded.

A Final Word

It’s important to remember that as a leader there is a fine line between humility and overconfidence. While it’s ok to be confident, it’s important to be aware of where that confidence lies and how it affects the organization. Overconfident Leadership destroys relationships which, in turn, can quickly destroy a business. Seek to balance both humility and confidence.


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Transformational Leadership – Let’s Transform Ourselves and Others During Time of Chaos

Transformational Leadership – Let’s Transform Ourselves and Others During Time of Chaos

My Invitation to Transform Yourself in Times of Chaos – Transformational Leadership

Dee once said, “Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.”

Dee Hock, founder and former CEO of Visa credit card organization in his book, Birth of the Chaordic Age spoke of the need for strong transformational leadership in an otherwise chaotic world.

Today, I was confronted with enormous amounts of fear. And, I wondered – why may this be happening? Is it me?
Then I stopped and thought – Of course it is! I was expecting it, and guess what, I got it!

Then I changed, stopped and meditated, and changed my reality to one of positivity – a positive future.

Now more than ever as we are resetting the world with chaos, we need peace, empathy, emotional regulation, and yes, love for ourselves and others. In the midst of this chaos, emotions flare. You have control over how you react to these emotions.

For just a moment:

  1. Stop everything you are doing.
  2. Close your eyes and take a deep breath – a long breath and exhale.
  3. Let go of what you think you know.
  4. Create your vision of you and the world you want.
  5. You are the “I am” of your “I am.”
  6. Repeat “I am” and fill in the blank of what you want to be.

Some I am’s I find helpful are:

  • I am safe.
  • I am loved.
  • I am wise.
  • I am respected.

What is your “I am?”

Now more than ever, fear is taking over. I, like you, take all precautions of physical distancing. And, this can be scary and challenging to most people – especially those who are used to being together socially on a consistent basis.

Would you like to transform with me?

I invite you to move your attention to your responses and how you lead, trust, and respect others.

The words “I will” create a new reality for you and others. Here are some examples of “I wills”:

  • I will help others feel safe.
  • I will help others feel loved.
  • I will help others feel respected.
  • I will help others feel wise.

In our new world, I invite you to move your attention to what you most like to manifest in your life. For the good of yourself. For the good of your loved ones. And, the good of all humanity.

A Deep Look Into the 14 Fascinating Amazon Leadership Principles

A Deep Look Into the 14 Fascinating Amazon Leadership Principles

“We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”– Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos believes in an influential core company culture for business success and undoubtedly his vision has yielded desired results for him. The numbers are in his favor. In 2019, Amazon became the most valuable company in terms of B2B marketing and reached over US$1 Trillion. The world is astounded by his success and wants to know his guiding principles which paved way for his success.

Clearly, the amazon leadership principles are most sought after today by people living all across the world. These amazon 14 leadership principles are game-changers as they cover everything from interview questions to team dynamics and the culture of the business.

Amazon.com is very proud of the leadership principles that have governed their nova burst into corporate stardom. Who would have imagined that a startup started 23 years back solely focused on selling books online – and is now the 5th largest company in the United States?

Led by Jeff Bezos, amazon leadership principles are a guideline on how to make a business work. This article will especially help those who want to land a job amazon – however, they are universally applicable to any business or leader.  By aligning with these principles, you may acquire the qualities required to get the ideal job in any company.

These fundamental 14 principles are the basic values that govern the company and its employees. Amazon tests its employees and candidates on the principles relevant to the role. Read on to know everything about the amazon leadership principles inspired by some of the most valuable leadership styles.

Everything about the Amazon 14 Leadership Principles

The main thing that makes amazon unique is the leadership principles that lead to problem-solving, productivity and quality decision making. Below is the detail about all the leadership principles inspired by Jeff Bezos for a successful business approach:

1. Customer Obsession

We all have heard a quote that says “customers are always right.” An entrepreneur aspires to tick all the boxes to achieve and maintain the customer’s trust in order to not slip away the client to competitors. The customer obsession based business focuses more on the customers’ retention by enforcing brand loyalty to them in order to gain their trust. It is highly important, especially when you are in a marketing business, where the customer lifestyle really matters.

Customer obsession stands on the principle of understanding clients and taking regular feedback from them on products. To make matters more clear, there are a few questions which an entrepreneur must ask themselves to understand the phenomena of customer obsession under Amazon’s leadership principles.

Here are the questions:

  • How will you prioritize customer’s needs when you are working with a large number of customers and also when it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to all of them?
  • Give an example of an event when you did not meet a client’s demand, what happened then, and how did you deal with it.
  • Who was your most challenging customer?
  • Tell me about the last time you had to apologize to someone.
  • Can you remember a time when you obsessed over giving very high-quality service to a customer?

The keys to success are patience, persistence, and obsessive attention to detail

2. Ownership

The people who say “that’s not my job” are never the owners. Leaders are owners. They always think on a long-term basis and never rely on short term results. They not only act on behalf of their own team but for the entire company. Ownership strengthens the employee-employer relationship.

Because of the ownership, employees respect the phenomena of accountability and show commitment to their organization.. It brings the desired positive outcomes for the development of the company. Some of the interview questions that will determine the basic requirements of ownership are – tell me about a time when you:

  • Had to make a questionable short term decision to build long term gains?
  • Had to work on a project with unclear responsibilities?
  • Had to leave a task incomplete?
  • Took on a task that went beyond your typical responsibilities?
  • Took it upon yourself to work on a thought-provoking initiative.


3. Invent and simplify

Leaders expect innovation from their teams and always seek ways to streamline them. They look for new ideas from far and wide perspective. But having said that it’s also true that in the quest to implement new ideas, there is always a threat that it wouldn’t connect with the target audience.

The only way to get over that roadblock is by introducing user-friendly innovations. It’s true that modern innovative products are ‘The’ factor to stand out from the rest but one must always be cautious to always take into account that is handy for the users.  These questions allow leaders to look at innovation from the required perspective. Tell me about a time when you:

  • Failed to simplify a process and what you would have done otherwise.
  • Developed something, and it went wrong.
  • Changed a process at work through either an innovative new way or simplification.·      Invented something.
  • Gave a simple solution to a complex problem.


4. Are right, a lot

Good leaders are often right in a number of areas. They have definite decision making power and good instincts with proper markups for a business. They seek diverse viewpoints in light of giving innovative products to the target audience. They have the curiosity to learn more at every stage of the business. In the amazon leadership principles, Jeff Bezos noted that leaders are right not because the employee always has to follow the leader, but because a leader has the potential to look for perspectives that an employee cannot. The following questions will also shed light on this aspect. Tell me about a time when you:

  • Had to work with incomplete data or information.
  • Were wrong.
  • Had to use your judgment to solve a problem.
  • Incorporated a diverse set of perspectives into solving a problem.
  • Had your beliefs challenged.  How did you respond?


5. Learn to be curious

This is perhaps the most important Amazon leadership principle as it sets the foundation of the entire business structure. Leaders are never satisfied with their product, the word, ‘perfect’ is not in their dictionary. It’s curiosity which helps them to achieve new feats. They are never done learning and always look to improve themselves. They are curious to know all the possibilities and acts to explore them. They are never satisfied at any point in their business development which makes them interesting. Some example questions from amazon leadership principles in this regard are: Tell me about a time when you:

  • Solved a problem through just greater knowledge or observation?
  • Influenced a change by only asking questions?
  • Went through that changed your way of thinking?
  • Curiosity helped you make a smarter decision?

and :

  • Tell me about the most significant and imperative lesson you learned in the past year from your experience?


6. Hire and develop the best

With every hiring and promotion, a good leader raises the performance bar and productivity. Leaders have a keen eye to recognize the exceptional talent in an employee or to put in other words they always seek the answer to the question in relation to every employee and that is whether they can move the company towards success or not. Leaders are always willing to coach others. They work on behalf of their people to keep inventing for development. According to Jeff Bezos “I’d rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.” By putting this quote in consideration, his team compiled the following questions for hiring for development:

  • Tell us about a time when you made a wrong hire. When did you figure it out, and what did you do?
  • Tell us about a time when you mentored someone.
  • Tell us about the best hire you have ever made.
  • What qualities do you look for most when hiring others?
  • Who is the most important person in your life, and why?


7. Insisting highest standards

Amazon leadership principles have its own high standards. It makes the point that leaders have relentlessly high standards in every aspect of the business. A majority may think these standards are excessively high, but, leaders are constantly raising the bar and aim to drive their teams to deliver high-quality products, services, and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not let down the line, and they always try to fix the problems always on time. Some example questions for insisting high standards are – tell me about a time when…

  • A team member didn’t meet your expectations on a project.
  • You couldn’t meet your own expectations on a project.
  • You raised the bar.
  • You motivated a team to go above and beyond.
  • You were dissatisfied with the quality of something at work and went out of your way to improve it.

Jeff Bezos Quotes

8. Think big

Thinking small is a self-fulfilling forecast. Leaders always take a bold direction that stimulates favorable outcomes. They think in their own way and look around corners for ways to serve customers with high standards. Leaders believe that there is no task difficult for them which is why they think big and create innovation. In interviews, the recruiters ask the employees some tricky questions to know their vision. Some examples are here to find out whether the applicant has supervision or not:

  • Tell us about a time when you went way beyond the scope of the project and delivered?
  • Tell us about your proudest professional achievement?
  • Tell us about a time when you were disappointed because you didn’t think big enough?
  • Tell us about a time when your vision resulted in a significant impact?
  • Tell us about a time when you had to make a bold and challenging decision?


9. Bias for action

Timings matter a lot in business. Many decisions and actions are adjustable and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk-taking. Bias for action does not mean acting without consideration. Despite that, the inclination for action means having an idea or evidence, and understanding quickly what that market thinks of it. Amazon leadership principles emphasize on the bias for action prospect because sometimes some decisions are irreversible. In that case, it helps a leader to handle the situation. The questions that can be asked from an employee applying for a relevant role are:

  • Tell me about a time when you took a calculated risk?
  • Tell me about a time you wanted to get information from someone who wasn’t very responsive. What did you do?
  • Describe a time when you noted some problems and took the initiative to correct it rather than waiting for someone else to do it?
  • Tell us about a time when you had to decide with little data or information?
  • Tell us about a time when you made a decision too quickly, and what you would have done differently?


10. Frugality

“I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.”- Jeff Bezos

Amazon leadership principles stress on achieving more with less. Restraints breed ingenuity, independence, and creation. There are no additional points for growing headcount, financial budget size or fixed expense. It can lead to wise decision making especially regarding financial concerns. Some interview questions in regards to frugality test are:

  • Tell us about a time when you had to work with limited time or resources.
  • Tell us about a time you had to rely on yourself to finish a task.
  • Tell us about a time where you turned down more resources to complete an assignment.
  • Tell us about a time when you beat out the competition with fewer resources.
  • Tell us about a time when you had to be frugal.


11. Earn trust

Leaders are very attentive; they speak candid and listen to the advice of their subordinates. They are frank with their employees and don’t feel embarrassed about discussing matters which they feel lack knowledge of. They set their goals against the best and motivates their team to do this as well. In this way, they earn the trust of their employees and also their customers. The applicants who apply for such a relevant position needs to be prepared for some tricky questions. Amazon leadership principles example questions for earning trust are as  follows:

  • Tell me about a time when you had to tell someone a harsh truth?
  • What would you sort out if you come across that your closest friend at work was stealing?
  • What is the quality you value least about yourself?
  • What do you do to gain the trust of your teammates?
  • Tell us about an event you had to speak up in a stressful environment?


12. Dive Deep

Leaders function at all levels, stay associated with the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and narratives differ. No task is below their standards. They always have an in-depth look into all the matters of the business and want to hire such employees who also enjoy supervision. Some interview questions related to the deep dive in all issues are:

  • Tell us about something that you learned recently in your role?
  • Give us two examples of when you did more than what was obligatory in any job experience?
  • Tell us about the most complicated problem you’ve ever worked on?
  • Tell us about a time when understanding the details of a situation helped you arrive at a solution?
  • Tell us about a time you utilized in-depth data to come across a solution?


13. Disagree and Commit

Leaders are obliged to their team members whenever they receive quality advice contrary to their perspective. They don’t feel their authority being undermined when team members respectfully disagree with them while putting an alternative idea. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious with their plans. They do not settle for less for the sake of social solidity. Once a decision is taken collectively, they commit wholly to it. To check the decision making power and strong commitment of an applicant for the relevant job, amazon leadership principles have some questions lined up:

  • Tell us about a time when you had to step up and disagree with a team member’s approach.
  • If your direct manager was coaching you to do something you disagreed with, how would you handle it?
  • Tell us about a time when you did not accept the status quo.
  • Tell us about an unpopular decision of yours.
  • What do you believe that no one else does?


14. Deliver Results

“The keys to success are patience, persistence, and obsessive attention to detail.”– Jeff Bezos

Leaders focus on the critical contributions and efforts for their business and deliver them with the right quality promptly. Despite holdups, they rise to the occasion and never settle for less. Amazon leadership principles result in delivering the best results and here are some of the questions that can be asked to you for a related job:

  • Give me an example of a time when you were 75% of the way through a project, and you had to pivot strategy–how were you able to make that into a success story?
  • By providing an example, tell me when you have had to handle a variety of assignments. Describe the results.
  • What is the most challenging situation you have ever faced in your life? How did you handle it?
  • Tell me about a time you had too much on your plate to deal with and how you handled getting everything done.
  • Tell me about a time when everyone else on your team gave up on something, but you pushed the team towards delivering a result.



The Amazon 14 Leadership Principles are a way for you to find the applicants that best fit within the company culture,  help you fit into the company culture or help you land a job at Amazon!

And let’s face it, the principles are a great way to reflect on your leadership skills even if you aren’t preparing for applying for your dream role at Amazon. If you are preparing for an interview with any company, I recommend developing a handful of your best stories that are wide enough to fit a massive range of potential questions and scenarios.

Or if you are hiring, I recommend you keep at least one of these questions in these 14 principles in your back pocket. Amazon continues to test for these leadership principles on the job as well, so you may want to consider incorporating these into your own leadership programs – technical or not.

5 Most Valuable Leadership Philosophy Examples to Understand

5 Most Valuable Leadership Philosophy Examples to Understand

A strong leadership philosophy is key to successfully running a team, organization, or business. When your leadership style is rooted in a strong set of values and principles, you’ll remain committed to your goals, and you’ll be more likely to motivate and inspire your employees on a regular basis.

Odds are good you already understand this. That doesn’t mean you confidently know how to develop your leadership philosophy statement. Thoroughly understanding how to cultivate a philosophy that provides a foundation for consistent success is often naturally challenging.

It has to be. By studying examples of leadership philosophy, you’ll more clearly understand what you must do to develop your own. First, however, it’s important to accurately know what a leadership philosophy consists of.

What is a Leadership Philosophy?

Studying personal leadership philosophy examples is a valuable activity. The philosophy you eventually cultivate for yourself shouldn’t necessarily be a perfect mirror image of the examples you consider. You need to remember that a leadership philosophy needs to be personal and unique. This is because it needs to be authentic. If you try to lead based on someone else’s philosophy, you’ll be less effective.

A leadership philosophy is essentially a belief system that guides your decision-making. It consists of your core principles, perspectives, and values. When you define what they are, and use them to shape a leadership philosophy statement, your behaviors and decisions will remain consistent.

You can simplify this idea for yourself by thinking about a leader as if they were a parent. Strong parents don’t want to be inconsistent in the way they raise their children. They understand they’ll be more effective if their approach to raising children always reflects their genuine beliefs and values.

The same concept applies to strong leadership. Those you lead will have more respect for you if they can clearly see you make decisions based on core principles that don’t change simply because circumstances have changed.

Personal Leadership Philosophy Examples Worth Studying

Leading with Love – Relational Leadership

It’s easy to become the type of leader who distrusts other people. This is particularly true in business. Regardless of your industry, achieving the status of a leader and helping your company grow requires embracing your competitive nature to some degree.

Unfortunately, some leaders become so competitive that they start to feel they can’t trust others. They become suspicious of everyone else’s motives. They may even consider their own employees to be potential threats. Thus, they may lead ineffectively, behaving too defensively to make the right decisions in all situations.

Other leaders adopt a different approach. They make the decision to “love” everyone they encounter on a regular basis. This love is not the type of love they would feel for a romantic partner, but it is similar to the love one feels for relatives and close family members.

Consider this example of leadership philosophy as you develop your own ideas about how to be an effective leader. Treating your team members (and even your direct competition) with care and respect can be very helpful in a number of ways – and is more of a relational leadership style. For instance, perhaps an employee who was once enthusiastic about their role has become clearly disengaged in recent months. A leader whose philosophy is rooted in defensiveness and competitiveness might assume this employee has turned against them for some reason. As a result, the relationship will suffer, and the worker may seek employment elsewhere.

On the other hand, someone who leads with love in a more relational leadership style would take the time to ask themselves what factors may have contributed to this employee’s lack of engagement. They can then more effectively determine what steps they must take to correct the issue. This yields very practical benefits. Engaged employees are more productive, and more likely to remain loyal to an organization.

Leading with Optimism

Do you believe everyone has the potential to succeed in certain major capacities? Or do you think some people are simply more naturally talented than others, and only a few exceptional individuals can truly thrive in their careers and lives?

Determining how you feel about this can help you determine your overall leadership philosophy. For instance, a leader who naturally assumes some people will always lack the potential to truly succeed will often overlook strengths in both their employees and themselves. However, a leader who is optimistic about everyone’s potential will constantly be on the lookout for qualities and traits they wish to cultivate in themselves and their team members.

Leading with optimism improves your chances of leading a successful team. Focusing on everyone’s innate potential gives you more opportunities to leverage the unique talents of your employees. This belief is summarized in a famous quote from Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Thinking you and everyone around you can succeed may be an ideal leadership philosophy principle worth keeping in mind.

Leading as a Facilitator-Learner

Your own personal leadership philosophy needs to be relatively consistent. It won’t help you make the “right” and most consistent decisions if it’s always changing. One way to ensure that you can remain strong in your leadership and vision, while also being agile enough to hear and incorporate the ideas of others is to be a facilitator-learner leader.

Being a facilitator – learner leader means you set the vision of what you are trying to accomplish and create an exercise for your people or a direct report to make the vision come to reality. Starting by doing the exercise on your own is a great way to show your commitment to your vision and the exercise itself. Be sure to be as direct as possible about what the exercise is. For example, if you want specific and simple financial projections that implements your vision around “customer-first” then the exercise should specify, “Create a simple, financial project that is simple and elegant for customers.” Then provide an example. Any adjustments to what you are provided should be given in the form of feed-forward – or advice, so they can be successful in your exercise.

It is crucial to remember that the way in which you approach your day-to-day operations likely will change over the years. This has become quite clear in the digital transformation age. The rise of new technologies has disrupted numerous industries at a faster pace than ever before. Leaders across these industries have had to adapt in order to stay competitive and effective.

Not all have been successful in doing so. Those who have managed to change with their industries tend to be the types of leaders who assume everyone including themselves has the capacity to continue learning new skills over the years. They also tend to be leaders who perceive constant learning as its own virtue.

Leading as a learner as a leadership philosophy has major value in fields where disruption is common. You can’t expect the way you and your team members operate to remain the same throughout your entire career. Change is inevitable. If your leadership philosophy is rooted in the belief that constant learning is both important and possible, you may adapt to these changes with relative ease.

Focusing on Solutions as a Leader

All leaders encounter challenges. This is true in all industries. The way in which you think about these challenges will play a major role in your potential for continued success.

Leaders who believe challenges represent stressful problems often become pessimistic. Every time a new challenge arises, they lose energy. Over time, this leads to frustration. Sadly, if you’re stressed and frustrated as a leader, you’ll struggle to motivate your team.

Other leaders feel almost enthusiastic about challenges. They don’t focus on the problems. Instead, they focus on challenges as new opportunities to develop unique solutions. They also understand that being forced to develop new solutions helps them and their team members cultivate new skills that will be applicable later.

For example, when the United States committed to sending humans to the moon, the scientists who tackled the project set up a major challenge as a major opportunity. Yes, they struggled, but the solutions they developed over the course of the Apollo program helped them achieve other major goals later on.

You may not be responsible for sending a person to the moon. However, your work will involve challenges. Consider inspiring yourself and your team members to overcome them (and grow) by focusing on solutions instead of problems.

Leading with Laughter

This final example of leadership philosophy may seem to be less valuable than the others listed here. Don’t make the mistake of dismissing it! This personal leadership philosophy example can in fact be much more helpful than you might initially assume.

Again, challenges are unavoidable. When they arise, it’s not uncommon for team members to lose enthusiasm for their work. It’s easy to be excited and optimistic when everything is going right. During times of struggle, it’s equally easy to start losing faith in one’s own abilities.

You need to guard against this. Your team will be much less effective if pessimism and cynicism are allowed to fester. That’s why it’s important to cultivate a working environment in which people feel joyful and at ease. In other words, you need to cultivate a working environment in which laughter plays an important role.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t take challenges seriously. On the contrary, your team can only thrive if you approach problems with the understanding that they need to be addressed. And, when these challenges present themselves, you need to find ways to prevent unnecessary stress from creeping in. Leading with a sense of humor and levity will help. When your team members see that you don’t allow problems to worry you, they’ll also be less worried.

Writing Your Leadership Philosophy Statement

Leadership philosophies are intensely personal and specific to your conditions and circumstances. Your leadership philosophy must authentically reflect your actual values and the situations of different employees.

However, by considering examples when writing your own leadership philosophy statement, you’ll have a much better understanding of what questions you should ask yourself to develop a philosophy that’s true to your beliefs.

Energizing Remote Teams: 8 Tips On Kick-Starting Their Day

Energizing Remote Teams: 8 Tips On Kick-Starting Their Day

One crazy outcome of this current craziness is that it has already changed the way people work. Many businesses have moved to work remotely, and bosses and workers are finding it fun, convenient, and productive. And it may even prove a better way to work.

This idea of working remotely is also very new to many bosses and workers, who overnight were leading virtual teams. Both sides of the distance work need some help. Workers hope to stay employed, and bosses need to meet their goals. And this is a new social contract with productivity, a matter of trust at a distance.

Organizations don’t want to fall behind this learning curve when they can kick start their remote teams’ day.

Good Morning, Everyone!

Remote workers are not on an extended vacation. Work must get done, deadlines met, and targets hit. At the same time, they may be dealing with homebound children, pets confused by changed schedules, and partners who don’t know what to do with themselves.

To energize, motivate, and catalyze your employees when you are managing a remote team, you can try these tips to kick start their day:

1. Plan the meeting

This is a virtual morning or mid-morning huddle. Its purpose is to engage and energize your remote teams. It is not a strategy session or performance assessment. Time is valuable, so the manager must plan well.

2. Pick the apples

There is psychological science in “one bad apple spoils the bunch.” Remote team management has certain nuances to it. You will want to select, arrange, and maneuver the parties to the meetings to maximize their participation and cross-functioning. If there are jerks, downers, or crab apples in the team set, you need to correct their action, reassign them, or find them some other work.

3. Tighten the tech

Quality meetings depend on quality technology. If broadcasting and reception are not perfect, remote meetings implode. Not only does your job description include remote team management, but you must also use the best tech available and confirm all users know how to connect. It’s a disservice to all if time is wasted streaming live.

4. Break the ice

Employees are looking for leadership. They are quick to pick up on your mood and body language, so when managing virtual teams, start with something fun. There are enough meeting icebreakers online, but one leader I know starts with funny viral videos. You can avoid the cat videos and opt for those showing people dealing with quarantine, homeschooling, and under orders to stay in place.

5. Manage the time

Most communication on tasks and projects can use email, texts, or phone. When leading remote teams, you should keep huddles short and stick to an agenda posted earlier. Fully half the time should deal with personal touches. One manager selects a member to share something that’s working especially well for them.

6. Channel the flow

Teams and their leaders should collaborate on best times and reasonable expectations. Some individual and team tensions will rise and fall, but when you are leading a remote team, you must mentor, measure, and communicate the work’s progress.

7. Tell the story

Some time should focus on the organization’s progress against adversity, what they are missing, and how business performance affects the remote workers. There is no one-size-fits-all playbook on how to manage a remote team. Meeting members seek your comforting empathy and connectedness.

8. Stick the landing

One of the most important parts of leading virtual teams. These early morning huddles will tie people and pursuits together. You can still hold meatier meetings during the day or the week with individuals or teams. Virtual huddles should wrap up in 45 minutes with clear instructions on schedule and expectations for the next huddle.

When it comes to remote team management, the key is to have some fun!

Managers can deal with individual and team tasks and performance in one-on-one calls or other online meetings. But remote workers miss the water cooler and coffee conversation. Best practices see managers leading from afar with humor, consistency, and clarity. Technology has shortened the distance allowing you to kick start your remote teams with attention to their needs, respect for their achievement, and guidance on the evolving nature of work.

If you can kick start their day with an energy-charged virtual huddle, you can keep remote workers emotionally connected with the organization’s core.


How to Create a Positive Workplace Culture

How to Create a Positive Workplace Culture

Every business organization has a culture — the positive productive one you want or the one that just happens to develop. A workplace culture makes a difference — the effective and efficient one with a hefty return on your investment or the one consuming all your energy and resources. To optimize your business performance, you must build, monitor, and sustain a positive workplace culture. You start by asking, “What is workplace culture?”

A workplace culture definition starts with the spirit demonstrated by the business’s employees. It’s a feeling, a buzz felt when employees are committed and excited about their work and company. Culture arises from the beliefs and actions of managers and employees, and it shows up in the way people interact, complete work together, engage with customers, and show respect and gratitude for each other.

How you can build a positive workplace culture

Understanding the culture takes you deeper into employee attitudes and demonstrated commitment to the organization’s core values and objectives. Businesses can operate without a strong positive workplace culture, but only a strong cultural spirit adds value to operations and business futures.

Choose good leaders

Workplace Culture - Choose good leaders

The best way to retain the right talent is to provide talented management – including organization development, leadership development, and executive coaching. Leaders do not treat employees as functionaries, human capital to be processed and consumed as a necessary or sunk cost.

Leaders understand workers as individuals, each worth a relationship. They respect staff for their practice and potential, and they demonstrate that respect in various but consistent ways. As leading models, they develop and encourage others to value and manifest mutual respect.

Recruit style as well as talent

Workplace Culture - Recruit Style as Well as Talent

Leadership must acquire talent before skills. Recruiting and interviewing must move beyond skills identification. A resume lists skills, and pre-qualification will test them. But because a positive culture is built on behavior, the hiring process must drill down into their workplace behavior.

Every job description and posting should contain three to five behaviors you value. All interviews should delve into the behavioral patterns and profiles you want to institutionalize as your workplace character and personality.

Provide an open opportunity

Workplace Culture - Provide an Open Opportunity

You can create an environment ensuring a workplace culture that is open, collaborative, and results-driven. In small processes and large projects leaders encourage, enable, and facilitate exchange where there is no fault and no fear.

When workers feel free to make suggestions, correct processes, or provide advice without criticism or dismissal, trust and transparency become the currency of transactions between leaders and labor, between workers, and across functional silos.

Make things simple

Workplace Culture - Make Things Simple

Making work simple, preparing clear policies, and communicating with intention and clarity are the hallmarks of great cultural leadership. Simplifying means reducing complicated messages to its least common denominator. You should be able to explain the big picture as well as short term vision.

Only when you can put paint to canvas — showing various career paths and aligning behaviors to purpose — can you understand what your business is doing. If people want to know what role they play, leadership must have the answer.

Give workers ownership

Workplace Culture - Give Workers Ownership

Enthusiastic and engaged workers improve operations and processes quantitatively and qualitatively. They have a stake in the outcomes because the business has given them a role in customer relations. Worker ownership does not have to be financial because equity comes in many forms.

Attitudes, beliefs, ideologies, principles, and values contribute to culture. The best leadership practices work conscientiously to respect and integrate the contributions and rhythms of individuals. Leaders provide ownership through partnerships and show respect in small and large gestures.

How do you want customers to see you?

If you’re not clear on your workplace culture, social media may be your first clue. Employees won’t hesitate to rate your workplace on Facebook, GlassDoor, Indeed, and other rating sites. Your workplace rating is a good place from which you can work backward to root causes.

Entrepreneurs often assume their workforce shares their passionate multidimensional view of their future. But it’s a mistake to assume everyone’s on the same page. First stage businesses may energize their workforce with the excitement of doing something new, participating in innovation, or introducing a new product.

However, the early phase business struggles quickly test and burn up those energies. It remains a crucial opportunity for leaders to develop a sustainable workplace culture, a climate of mutual respect and positive psychology. Human Resources can drive corporate culture, but business leaders should not leave it to one function.

Design it or eat it!

What is workplace culture? It is a workplace’s footprint. It is evidence of its inspiration, commitment, and fellowship. A culture will develop quickly and naturally. However, unless the culture is designed, supported, and rewarded from the top down, it will not fulfill employee or owner expectations.

Many businesses do function amidst threats and risks reacting here and there to put out fires among their workforce. It’s a daily reactive behavior, but little is learned about fire control and risk management as the fires are repeatedly extinguished.

Other companies lose their bearings as hostile, negative, or disinterested cultures threaten their organizations with extinction. Faulty cultures demand attention and corrective action. But they also distract leadership from purposeful values.

Great companies promote, feed, and institutionalize positive cultures. They value culture as a strategic and operational asset. Culture is the means and method for a better future for all organizational stakeholders. And, high-performing leaders shape and invest in their workplace culture banking on its direct and indirect contributions to business success. It’s these leaders who make a difference, who bring dimension, energy, and value to workplace fortune and future, and who make a transformative difference with their personal, passionate, and positive vision.

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Team and Company Alignment Are Critical Components ofLarge-Scale Change

94% of employees that love their workspace and are aligned with its values are 2-4 times more likely to perform more and recommend their company

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CEO & Founder of Best Practice Institute

Retain your best employees, increase productivity, and create a community that fosters peak performance.

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