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April 14, 2011

5 Mistakes People Make Reading Your Body Language

Today's guest blog post is coming to you from author Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., an executive coach, consultant, and international keynote speaker at corporate, government, and association events. She’s the author of “THE SILENT LANGUAGE OF LEADERS: How Body Language Can Help - or Hurt - How You Lead." Carol’s websites are http://www.NonverbalAdvantage.com  and http://www.CKGcom. You can also follow Carol on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CGoman) and read her blog on Forbes.com "You Don't Say."

 

5 Mistakes People Make Reading Your Body Language

Your nonverbal signals don’t always convey what you intended them to. In fact, when people read your body language, you can count on them making five major mistakes.

Body language was the basis for our earliest form of communication when the split-second ability to recognize if a person or situation was benign or dangerous was often a matter of life or death.
Today, nonverbal signals play a key role in helping us form quick impressions. But, as innate as this ability may be, not all of our impressions are accurate. Although our brains are hardwired to respond instantly to certain nonverbal cues, that circuitry was put in place a long time ago – when our ancient ancestors faced threats and challenges very different from those we face in today’s modern society.

The problem is that the world has changed, but our body reading processes are still based on a primitive emotional reaction that hasn’t changed much since humans began interacting with one another.
For example: In our prehistory, it may have been vitally important to see an approaching person’s hands in order to evaluate his intent. If hands were concealed they could very well be holding a rock, a club, or other means of doing us harm. In business interactions today, with no logical reason to do so, we still instinctively mistrust someone who keeps his hands out of sight -- in his pockets, below the table, or behind his back.

The following is adapted from my new book, “The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help – or Hurt – How You Lead.” Here are the five mistakes people make when they read your body language: 

1) They won’t consider the context.

When it comes to body language, context is king. You can’t really make sense of someone’s nonverbal message unless you understand the circumstances behind it. Context is a weave of variables including location, relationships, time of day, past experience, and even room temperature. Depending on the context, the same nonverbal signals can take on totally different meanings. Your team members, and colleagues won’t always have access to this insight. So if you yawn in a staff meeting because you were up early for an international business call – let people know why you’re tired. Without this context, you’ll look like you’re just bored.

2) They’ll find meaning in one gesture.

People are constantly trying to evaluate your state of mind by monitoring your body language. But all too often they will assign meaning to a single (and sometimes irrelevant) nonverbal cue. And, since the human brain pays more attention to negative messages than it does to positive ones, people are mainly on the alert for any sign that indicates you’re in a bad mood and not to be approached. So – you may be more comfortable standing with your arms folded across your chest (or you may be cold), but don’t be surprised when others judge that gesture as resistant and unapproachable.

3) They won’t know your baseline.

One of the keys to accurately reading body language is to compare someone’s current nonverbal response to their baseline, or normal behavior. But if people haven’t observed you over time, they have little basis for that comparison. Remember this when meeting people for the first time. They won’t know that you habitually frown when you are concentrating. (And you may not realize it either unless you ask a friend or coach for feedback.) Others will most likely think the frown is a reaction to something they said or did.

4) They’ll evaluate you through an array of personal biases.

There is a woman in my yoga class who liked me from the moment we met. I’d prefer to believe that this was a result of my charismatic personality, but I know for a fact that it’s because I resemble her favorite aunt. Sometimes biases work in your favor – an example of the so-called “halo effect.”  But biases can also work against you. What if, instead of someone they like, you remind people of someone they despise? You might overcome it with time, but you can bet that their initial response to you won’t be a good one.

5) They’ll evaluate through a filter of cultural biases.

When it comes to nonverbal communication and cultural differences, you can expect to be judged by behaviors that include how close you stand to a colleague in conversation, how much or little you touch others, the degree of emotion in your voice, the amount of eye contact you display, and the kind of hand gestures you use. And what feels so right in one culture may be seen as highly insulting in another. (So before you attend that international business meeting, do a little research to on the nonverbal business practices that you’re most likely to encounter.)

These are the five mistakes you can expect people to make. Understanding them, and trying not to make the same mistakes, will help you be a more effective nonverbal communicator.

April 12, 2011

Book of the Week: "Million-Dollar Hire" from David P. Jones


 Jonesforblog 

 
Our second featured book is one we're sure you've heard of by now.... Million-Dollar Hire by David P. Jones. You might remember his previous JB guest blogs (here and here), or our mention of his fantastic videos. For all things book-related keeping reading and be sure to order your copy today.

*** 

"The premise is simple: nothing can build a company, turn it around, or sink it as quickly as its recruiting and hiring decisions. No decisions an executive and his or her team make can pay off—or cost—as much as their hiring decisions." —From the Preface

In today's environment, companies no longer have room to make the wrong hiring decisions. The costs are simply too great. Million-Dollar Hire shows how any company can reinvent its hiring process to add millions to the bottom line. And the concepts it delivers apply to any business—large, small, or even a start-up investment.

Written by David P. Jones—an expert in human resources—Million-Dollar Hire offers tools that translate recruiting and hiring decisions into solid financial returns. Step-by-step, the book shows how to treat every hiring decision with the same focus a business brings to acquiring other high-value assets. Jones draws on decades of experience to highlight insightful examples of real-world hiring systems—ones that produce higher sales, lower turnover, better production rates, and fewer on-the-job accidents and injuries.

Jones also shows how to estimate the dollar value in better hiring when performance is tough to measure in hard numbers, and reveals how to estimate the financial payoff for every hire. He also reviews technologies available to find the best candidates before the competition, and explains how different approaches to candidate screening translate to different financial returns. He even shows how to manage the legal risks that come with every hiring decision.

Million-Dollar Hire is an invaluable tool for executives, HR professionals, and hiring managers who want to revamp what is often one of the least sophisticated parts of a business: how it finds and keeps extraordinary talent.

***

Praise for the book:

"Those of us who run the financial side of organizations often underestimate the payoff that comes with hiring the best. Jones not only shows how to create world-class hiring programs, he also demonstrates how to pin a financial valueon them. A must-read for every executive looking to boost the bottom line."

—Robert S. McCoy Jr., former vice chairman and CFO, Wachovia

 

"No decision that a leader makes has the direct impact on corporate performance that high-quality hiring does. The payoff in world-class hiring rests not only in finding the best-qualified candidate, but also in avoiding those with 'dark side' qualities that derail more than half of today's leaders. Jones outlines the economics of effective hiring and offers clear, scientifically sound ways to find the best, while avoiding the worst."

—Thomas L. Monahan III, chairman and CEO, Corporate Executive Board

 

"The financial and human resources sides of a business often think in different terms and speak in different languages. Jones shows how to link the two."

—Daniel T. Cox, former managing director, J.P. Morgan, and chairman and CEO, Aon Consulting Worldwide

 

"This book makes complicated hiring concepts understandable and (surprisingly) interesting! It is a must-read for anyone who cares about human capital in their organization."

—Theresa R. Shea, assistant general counsel, True Value Company

 

"It takes a great product to build a business, but great people make it happen. Million-Dollar Hire shows just how to find, land, and hold onto the best.Every entrepreneur needs to read it . . . now!"

—Kevin Harrington, star on ABC's Shark Tank; author, Act Now! How I Turn Ideas into Million-Dollar Products; and chairman, TVGoods

Book of the Week: "Management Reset" by Ed Lawler and Christopher Worley

Mgmtresetforblog 
 
 
 
 
We've got lots of books releasing this month so we'll be doubling up on "Book of the Week" posts for a while! Today's first featured book is from JBbiz author Edward E. Lawler III and Christopher Worley, both at USC's Center for Effective Organizations. It's called Management Reset: Organizing for Sustainable Effectiveness and as the authors explain in the Introduction, it's "not about convincing you that organizations need to be sustainably effective; it is a book about how organizations can be sustainably effective." You can read more about Management Reset below. And don't forget to check out Ed and Chris's podcast.

*** 

In Management Reset, the acclaimed management experts and authors of the best-selling book Built to Change offer a next-step resource for any organization that wants to thrive in our difficult economic environment. While organizations must perform well financially, Edward E. Lawler III and Christopher G. Worley contend that companies also need to address their social and environmental impact to be viable in the long term.

Management Reset shows how organizations can be sustainably effective by becoming agile and developing the ability to adjust their strategy, organization design, and leadership practices to support profitability, social justice, and environmental health. The book is filled with illustrative lessons from such leading organizations as Microsoft, Cisco, Netflix, DaVita, Starbucks, Nokia, and the United States Secret Service. The authors offer clear, easy to implement principles and practices for managers, leaders, and consultants who want to organize for sustainable performance effectiveness.

By putting in place Lawler and Worley'sinnovative organization designs and management practices, forward-thinking organizations can remake themselves to better serve both their shareholders and society.

 

***

Praise for the book:

"Management Reset is a call to action for any business leader looking to create sustainable growth and value in an increasingly interconnected, thus ethically interdependent world. Ed Lawler and Chris Worley illustrate why new approaches to culture and leadership are the greatest sources of competitive advantage available today."

—Dov Seidman, founder, chairman, CEO of LRN; and author, How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything . . . in Business (and in Life)

 

"Until now, there has been no authoritative review of what sustainability actually requires in terms of the nuts and bolts of organizational strategy, structure, systems, and rewards. Management Reset superbly fills that gap by providing leaders with the practical tools and know-how needed to create truly sustainable businesses. This book is destined to become the indispensable guide to responsible, effective management in the twenty-first century."

—James O'Toole, Daniels Distinguished Professor of Business Ethics, University of Denver's Daniels College of Business; author, The Executive Compass; and coeditor, Good Business: Exercising Ethical and Effective Leadership

 

"Management Reset is a breakthrough. The book offers very pragmatic and concrete guidance and is a leadership guidebook for the future."

—David A. Nadler, vice chairman, Marsh & McLennan Companies; and author, Building Better Boards and Competing by Design

 

"Management Reset presents a pragmatic approach to developing an organization that can sustain effectiveness and succeed for all its stakeholders. Chris and Ed's approach balances a strong fact base with insights about driving organizational change and effectiveness."

—Joe Mello, COO emeritus, DaVita Inc.

 

"Management Reset is a great resource for leaders at all levels of an organization. It is the long-awaited next generation approach to managing complex organizations."

—Jodi Krause, director, Council and Board Effectiveness, Corporate Positioning, Cisco Systems, Inc.  

April 06, 2011

Hiring Needs to Yield the Same Financial Returns as Manufacturing, Sales, Customer Service and Other Operations - By author David P. Jones

We are lucky enough to feature another guest blog from author David Jones, whose book "Million-Dollar Hire: Build Your Bottom Line, One Employee at a Time" is now available wherever books and ebooks are sold! As we mentioned last week, David's got a fantastic website for his book where you can learn about him and his company, watch videos (he made one for each chapter of Milllion-Dollar Hire), and more.  

***

Hiring Needs to Yield the Same Financial Returns as Manufacturing, Sales, Customer Service and Other Operations 

A key lesson from the recession is that there’s no tolerance for bad hiring: It’s far too expensive.

Employers are realizing that – after taking recruiting costs, salary, bonuses, training, pay increases and tenure expectations into account – any high-five-figure new hire represents a million-dollar investment in the long term.  But, traditionally, there’s been a big difference between the detail that goes into purchasing, say, a six-figure piece of accounting software and how companies hire a six-figure accountant. The purchasing decision involves detailed cost/benefit assessment, while hiring often involves reviewing some résumés, holding a few interviews and some reference checking.

But in the down economy, executives began re-inventing how their companies go about hiring – because they can’t afford bad hires – and, importantly, because metrics and tools are now available to link hiring with economic payoff and risk management. Those responsible for hiring are beginning to view hires as balance sheet assets – or liabilities.

Today, Human Resource departments can marshal science, technology and tools to up the ante gained from success in the hiring process. Today, executives are chasing a return on their hiring investments by holding their recruiting and hiring operations to the same kinds of financial return targets they lay on manufacturing, sales, customer service and other financially-driven operations – a reasonable expectation, as new data show that the best hires – the top 15% – exceed their salary in terms of productivity and other payoff outcomes by 40%; sub-par hires translate to a 40% loss.

Since hiring the best can be seen as producing a 40% return on salary investments – every year – what executive wouldn’t want that? Where else can a company get this kind of return?  The best organizations are remaking hiring into a more economically-focused function…

• New tools are driving bottom-line payoff for new hires.  What’s interesting is the array of screening tools that have been produced, covering everything from pre-screening checklists, to skills tests, to personality profiling techniques that actually predict productivity, turnover, bad behavior in the workplace, accidents and the like. 

• Hiring is finally coming under the same quality control lens as manufacturing and other operations.  Six Sigma quality improvement concepts are being applied to recruiting and hiring.

• Technology solutions can now source and engage candidates who fit the employer’s profile.  Technology in the recruiting and hiring arena is exploding.  Every social networking site is in the recruiting business.  Internet-based screening, onboarding and retention tools are multiplying every day.  Many focus on finding and evaluating and retaining the best candidates.

• Techniques are emerging to “onboard” new hires.  New hire onboarding was once a paperwork process.  Today, it focuses on engaging the new hire, and avoiding quick turnover when the uncertainty that comes with a new job blossom.

• New approaches are lowering the risk of legal challenge to hiring decisions.  Unfortunately, legal oversight, challenges and rules and regulations also are expanding.  But today, employers are putting procedures in place that keep all the new techniques from creating risk.

Today, the premise is simple: nothing can build a company, turn it around or sink it as quickly as its recruiting and hiring decisions.  No decisions an executive and his or her team make can pay off—or cost—as much as their hiring decisions.  Today, the HR department is becoming the CEO’s best friend.

March 31, 2011

"Dark Side" Personality Traits as Performance Predictors - from author David P. Jones

Today's guest blog post is coming to you from David Jones, whose book "Million-Dollar Hire: Build Your Bottom Line, One Employee at a Time" will be in stores next week (of course you can always preorder a copy today). David P. Jones, PhD, is the president of Growth Ventures Inc., a human capital advisory firm. He's got a website for his book where you can learn about him and Growth Ventures, watch videos (he made one for each chapter of Milllion-Dollar Hire), and more. In the meantime, enjoy this fascinating article on the "dark side" of personality and how it should affect your hiring decisions.

 

“Dark Side” Aspects of Personality Are Important Predictors of Performance

Research again and again shows that more than one-half of managers and executives fail in the first few years after being hired. It costs at least two times their salary to replace them.  But greater are the ‘costs’ inflicted on their co-workers, customers, business growth opportunities, and the failed manager’s poor contribution to the bottom line. 

Human Resource departments often miss important information when they focus on a candidate’s best characteristics – their “Bright Side.”  Possessing more of these qualities generally means better qualification for the job.  To avoid cost, and add bottom line payoff, though, hiring programs need to look at a candidate’s “Dark Side” characteristics, as well, where more is worse. 

Evaluating the Dark Side of personality is important in identifying leaders, managers, and others who interact frequently with other people.  A growing body of evidence shows how capturing such information can reduce the turnover that comes with derailment, and the failure that comes from the Dark Side’s impact on leaders’ work teams.

Among Dark Side factors HR departments in leading organizations are considering through today’s tools are:

  • The characteristics that make up the Dark Side.  There are instruments that measure Dark Side personality elements reliably; qualities like arrogance, excitability, eccentricity, perfectionism, over-cautiousness, aloofness toward others, and over-boldness.
  • The three main Dark Side personalities.  Evidence shows that Dark Side characteristics add up to identifying  three basic types of tendencies that flower when leaders come under stress, pressure, or changing demands:
  • People high on excitability, aloofness, and skepticism, among other qualities “move against” others when stress grows.  They attack and try to dominate.
  • People high on boldness, mischievousness, colorfulness, and related dimensions “move toward” others when under pressure, trying to win them over and manipulate them.
  • People high on qualities such as perfectionism and diligence typically “move away” from others, going off on their own to get things done.
  • Why Dark Side personalities cause damage in leadership roles. It’s the management levels that interact with the most people where these traits have the most important impact, and become destructive.  Here, those with Dark Side tendencies are more likely to derail under stress or pressure to produce.  The result – high turnover among subordinates, poor performance in their units, and lower workforce engagement; plus, a much higher likelihood of being invited to leave the organization.
  • Research evidence shows payoff in avoiding Dark Side personalities in other jobs.  There is a growing base of research showing that evaluating both the Bright Side and Dark Side of candidate personalities has a bottom line payoff for other roles.  Research shows that screening candidates for the roles of supervisor, to sales, account management, financial brokerage, law enforcement, and even airline pilot has produced better-performing hires.     
  • How sophisticated screening can reveal the Dark Side. Measuring Dark Side characteristics requires sophistication – both in the instruments used and analysis of the results.  Today’s structured personality assessment tools provide useful information.  In addition, comprehensive hiring stage 360-degree reviews can be revealing of Dark Side traits, showing past subordinates’ reactions to the candidate. 

The cost to organizations from Dark Side personalities is high, and there is a significant upside if these personalities are avoided at the hiring stage, or managed skillfully when found in the current workforce.  Managing the Dark Side requires a strategic approach – one that more and more HR departments are adopting.

March 29, 2011

Book of the Week: "Reversing the Slide" by James B. Shein

Reversing the slide for blog 
 
 
 
Our Book of the Week author James B. Shein has decades of experience as a CEO and running, advising, purchasing, and reviving distressed companies. He is now a professor of Management & Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he teaches Managing Turnarounds and Entrepreneurship. You can read about James' new book "Reversing the Slide" below and order your copy here.

*** 

The question is not if your business will encounter economic trouble, but when.

An entrepreneur or corporate executive has only a limited amount of time to successfully redirect a business in the face of a fiscal downturn.

In our turbulent economic climate, companies need to respond at the first sign of economic hardship. Reversing the Slide offers the tools to recognize the warning signs of business underperformance and the strategies to climb back to success. With real-life examples from well-known companies, Reversing the Slide is a must-have manual for business leaders who want to ensure sustainability and growth.

This engaging book explains the main causes and warning signs of financial distress and then, once these problems are identified, gives leaders the skills to seamlessly carry out three key changes known as the Turnaround Tripod. The author also illuminates the complex details of company downsizing and the pros and cons of bankruptcy.

No business or nonprofit is exempt from fiscal challenges; Reversing the Slide offers the insight needed to overcome economic and performance setbacks.

***

Praise for the book:

"James Shein has taken the complex, confusing, chaotic world of corporate failures and turnarounds, and turned it into a well-organized set of management principles, richly illustrated with real-world anecdotal experiences. This book is a must-read for any executive or director of a company facing severe challenges, with careful explanations of the accounting rules, fiduciary obligations, and bankruptcy processes that drive all turnaround efforts. While it is comprehensive and thorough, it is nonetheless engagingly readable throughout." —ROBERT S. MILLER, chairman of the board, AIG and veteran of numerous corporate turnarounds, including as CEO of Delphi

"This guide is an easy read for those interested in revamping troubled organizations. James Shein clearly articulates the basic legal and governance concepts needed; he also covers advanced techniques for implementing a successful turnaround."—JAMES SPRAYREGEN, head of restructuring, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

"This is an excellent road map from an author with CEO and board experience that will help you and your customers survive and thrive." —GLEN HINER, retired chairman and CEO of Owens Corning

"Leaders and managers: this is a must-read. Readers will learn to solve complex problems and reverse past mistakes. In today's economic environment, every organization must learn to renew and avoid underperformance." —DR. ARTHUR LAFFER, father of supply-side economics; author, Return to Prosperity: How America Can Regain Its Economic Superpower Status; and economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and many current political and corporate leaders

"This book's advice on buying troubled companies is useful for company executives, private equity funds, hedge funds, and entrepreneurs alike. It deals with finding the businesses and the steps that should be followed in turning them around." —FLIP HUFFARD, senior managing director, Restructuring and Reorganization, The Blackstone Group

March 22, 2011

Book of the Week: The Cult of the Leader by Christopher Bones

Cultoftheleader 

 
 
Today we are featuring the groundbreaking and highly provocative "The Cult of the Leader," by Manchester Business School professor Christopher Bones. In the book, Bones "brilliantly" exposes the "flawed thinking about the importance of top management talent" (Director.co.uk) and takes a critical look at the way that business leadership has gone so very wrong. You will definitely want to read more about the book below. Order a copy for yourself or someone you know by clicking here.

*** 

Modern business is obsessed with leaders.


Although everyone is talking about leadership, its real meaning is becoming more and more obscure. Today we define leaders in terms of how they seem, not their judgment and what they are able to do.

The result has been the failure of leadership at a time when we need all the good leaders we can find. We now face critical decisions and urgently need to rethink the role of leadership in order to make these choices well.

In The Cult of the Leader Chris Bones argues that in order to rebuild trust and confidence, we need to redefine talent, revalue experience and reconsider remuneration. Only by doing this, will we come to a realistic appreciation of what leaders can and can’t do.

***

Praise for the book:

“Combining entertainment with breadth and depth of understanding, this book can be recommended as essential reading for every manager.” – Professor Meredith Belbin


“A captivating voyage into leadership that defines the malaise of out time.” – Sir John Madejski, Chancellor of the University of Reading

“This is a must-read and must-act upon book; a call to every business and every investor to act with enlightened self-interest.” – Alan Hughes, former CEO, First Direct Bank

“A detailed and authoritative study that reflects Chris Bones’ extensive experience managing talent and guiding leaders.” – Matt Kingdon, Founder, Chairman & Chief Enthusiast of ?What If! 

#12 - What should a new leader do to establish his/her style and make an impact - without rocking the boat?

We had to take an unexpected break in our blog posting yesterday, but we are finishing our March series up today with a bang! For those of you unfamiliar with our March blog series, it's based on news that Jack Griffin, Time Inc.'s CEO, left his post after an extremely short 6-month stint. Our final response comes from Jim Kouzes, whom you know (along with co-author Barry Posner) from The Leadership Challenge. Even though this is our last series post of the month, we'd love to hear your take on the topic, which you can leave in the comments here and on Facebook and Twitter.

***

Jim Kouzes:

"Leadership is a relationship—a relationship between those who aspire to lead and those who choose to follow. And the foundation of that relationship, the bedrock upon which it is built, is personal credibility. If you don’t believe in the messenger, you won’t believe the message. One of the powerful lessons from the short tenure of Jack Griffin at Time is that a long and successful track record at one organization does not instantly translate into immediate credibility at a new one. That’s because the most important contributor to personal credibility—trustworthiness—can only be developed over time and through direct contact with those you’re going to lead. My guess is that in his haste to bring about some needed changes at Time, he relied too much on prior successes and not enough on building the relationships needed to support those changes. When you first join a new organization you have to make a conscious effort to answer the most fundamental questions people want to ask a new leader: Who are you? Where are we headed? What’s going to happen to me? And, Why should we follow you?"

Jim Kouzes is the coauthor with Barry Posner of the award-winning and best-selling The Leadership Challenge, and over a dozen other books on leadership including their most recent, The Truth About Leadership. They are also the developers of the world's bestselling off-the-shelf leadership assessment, The Leadership Practices Inventory. Jim is also the Dean's Executive Fellow of Leadership at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University. Among his many awards and honors, The Wall Street Journal has cited Jim as one of the top twelve executive educators in the United States.

Visit the website of Jim and Barry's latest book, "The Truth About Leadership: The No Fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know": http://www.truthaboutleadership.com
Follow them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TruthAboutLeadership 
And on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/KouzesPosner
View a brief video discussion on Amazon.com:  http://amzn.com/0470633549
Visit the website for all products: http://www.leadershipchallenge.com
View their online product brochure: http://lp.wileypub.com/TLCProduct/index.html
Read their blog at: http://leadershipchallenge.typepad.com

*Don't miss "Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It" - available wherever books and ebooks are sold, Summer 2011!

March 19, 2011

#11 - What should a new leader do to establish his/her style and make an impact - without rocking the boat?

It's the Saturday edition of the series - and today we're featuring a response from JBbiz author Seth Kahan (Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out). For those of you unfamiliar with our March blog series, it's based on news that Jack Griffin, Time Inc.'s CEO, left his post after an extremely short 6-month stint. The series will continue into next week so don't forget to check back and let us know your own thoughts, in the comments and on Facebook and Twitter.

***

Seth Kahan:

"Why would a leader want to avoid rocking the boat? Avoid sinking the boat, avoid generating churn—yes. But avoid rocking the boat? Absolutely not, unless your goal is the status quo, which is counter to true leadership. The goal for every new leader is to move as effectively as possible to a higher level of performance, both personally and organizationally. Performance improvement is the primary driver. The new leader needs to be laser focused on generating results. That means (a) fixing what's broken, and (b) raising the bar. Nothing else matters."

Seth Kahan is the author of Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out (Jossey-Bass, 2010), a Washington Post bestseller and named by the American Express OPEN Forum as a Top 20 of 2010. Seth writes for Fast Company online at SethFast.com. He is an executive strategy consultant, working with CEOs and Executive Directors on organizational transformation.

You can reach Seth on the web at www.VisionaryLeadership.com and download an excerpt of his book at www.GettingChangeRight.com.

March 18, 2011

#10 - What should a new leader do to establish his/her style and make an impact - without rocking the boat?

Our 10th post of the series is brought to you by Andy Stefanovich, author of "Look At More: A Proven Approach to Innovation, Growth, and Change," which will be available April 19th (but you can preorder it now). For those of you unfamiliar with our March blog series, it's based on news that Jack Griffin, Time Inc.'s CEO, left his post after an extremely short 6-month stint. The series will continue into next week so don't forget to check back and let us know your own thoughts, in the comments and on Facebook and Twitter.

***

Andy Stefanovich:

"Its all about empathy and energy--two words that define leadership, especially in the early moments in the role. Empathy in that you appreciate that you don't immediate play "boss." Instead, view yourself as a new associate and want to learn and listen aggressively. Energy is the qualitative magic that helps give people the needed inspiration. Important to remember, the most intangible is the most tangible in leadership."

Andy Stefanovich, chief curator and provocateur at Prophet, has spent the past twenty years helping the world's leading companies drive innovation from the inside out. In 1990, Andy cofounded Play, a creativity and innovation company, which changed the way business does business. Play and Prophet joined forces in 2009. A popular and dynamic speaker, Stefanovich frequently delivers keynote addresses to leading international organizations and has been featured on CNBC and MSNBC.

For more information, please visit www.prophet.com/lookatmore

And here to preorder your copy