Every Leader Should Have A Formal Influencing Plan

With all of the workload, the fire drills, the meetings, and the escalations, it is easy to lose site of our leadership and influencing responsibilities. The really difficult part of this dilemma is that through influencing we can actually decrease our workload.

Think of Influencing, both “Formally” and “Informally”, as another way to delegate work to a resource in the organization. It is through influencing others that our jobs become easier and, indeed, more fun.

When you have others operating on the same wave length along with you, good things tend to happen. When we are working in concert, both strategically and tactically, it is much more difficult to have disagreements, delays and re-do’s.

Begin with your Formal Influencing plan.

Choose project you are working on that is  in the early stages of implementation, or one about to begin, make a  list of people you must interact with regularly and build a plan for Formal Influencing.

Start by identifying the people who need to be influenced.  Determine where you are now in terms of influence and relationship.  Next, define where you want to be, and what next steps are required to get there!

How successful are you at influencing?

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Leaders and Managers Must Shift Their Style!

More progressive organizations are moving toward a more engaging style of leadership, mainly due to their recognition that followers have a greater role as collaborators in the strategic and day-to-day leadership of teams and organizations. We find in our coaching relationships that most middle managers have great frustration and challenge moving from the top-down model to a more collaborative leadership style.

It is important for leaders and managers to recognize that the the business world is far too complex for one person to have all the answers and responsibility for leadership decisions.

Leaders who draw solutions from their teams by asking the right questions are finding new strategic direction, while engaging their staff.

Our expectations of leaders and managers has grown astronomically because of increased complexity and the rate of change. The response by most organizations to transform their leadership and management styles to respond to this change has been slow, and in most cases lacks a comprehensive learning and development model.

In our work with organizations, leaders, managers and individual contributors, we find that the complexity, rate of change and workload stifles their ability to slow down to learn to do things differently in order to be productive.

The answer is not so much in the provision of training, but rather in the shifting of a mindset and removing outdated models.

How will we meet this challenge?

Leadership At All Levels

In an unpredictable economy, companies that have a network of leaders through-out the organization are the ones most likely to thrive. Employees who are given the opportunity to develop leadership skills are more inclined to take responsibility and feel pride in their work. When they are empowered to make decisions and be accountable For their actions, potential leaders take ownership in the success of the company, and often become high level performers who offer their discretionary effort.

The velocity of workload is increasing and so has the pace of change.  With that said, an employee’s ability to make independent decisions is especially critical as services, products and customer expectations evolve. In the wake change, the role of leadership is shifting as well. Front-line employees are expected to lead teams, mid-level managers are heading up strategic initiatives, and downsized staffs are expected to take responsibility for more work with less guidance.

These new opportunities call for more than supervisory or management skills. They also require managers to arouse engagement and establish an environment of respect and fairness, in which employees are encouraged and expected to contribute their opinions, ideas, and concerns.

How are you adapting your style to facilitate the inclusion and participation of leaders at all levels— those contributors who do not have the title but bear the responsibilities?

3 Secrets for Collaborative Leadership

There is no doubt that most organizations are experiencing change at an unprecedented pace. Collaboration skills is the new weapon of distinction amongst leaders who desire to get to the next level of performance. As a leader in today’s challenging environment, you are responsible for helping people create success despite all the chaos that constant change brings.

Your leadership style will determine the attractiveness others will find in partnering and collaborating with you.

There are some key areas that need to be addressed when attempting to achieve a collaborative relationship with others.

The following 3 Secrets will enlighten you on exactly what you are getting into when you decide to brand yourself as a ” Collaborative Leader.”

Three realities Collaborative Leaders Must understand:

Reality #1

People are attracted to your leadership style and your ability to engage them.

If you don’t like people or prefer not to interact with people, you are going to struggle in your quest to become a collaborative leader.

Introverts can still apply for the role of being collaborative but in doing so you are stating your willingness to come out of your comfort zone when it comes to interacting with people.

You cannot fake being a collaborator. Collaborative leadership requires you to continue to process and dialog with your colleagues and direct reports/

Reality #2

To simply state that you have adopted a collaborative approach is not enough.

There must be proof of your statement with a track record of working effectively with others.

How many teams or assignments have you successfully lead that involved utilizing the skills of others to reach success?

To be collaborative or to be in collaboration with others means it is not about you. It is about us.  To be effective at using a collaborative leadership style means you understand it is not about me, the name of the game to success is about “we.”

Everyone should participate at some level in order to be considered part of a collaborative effort.

Reality #3

You must have the ability to work with all types of personalities and within all types of challenging environments.

Leadership is a much needed skill in today’s changing workplace. A collaborative leadership style of leading is in even more demand. Why?

People are searching for the type of leader who is willing to allow them to bring value to the dialog.

A collaborative leader has no concerns about what I look like, what my ethnic background is, what age I might be, or what my gender is. People want to be recognized for what they bring to the table.

What makes this type of environment difficult is the collaborative leader must be astute in recognizing that at the end of the day, we all want to make contributions that leverage our skills and unique talents.

How will you bring out the best of your people with a collaborative leadership style?

Taking Time Out

As we approach the weekend it is an opportunity to transition from work to life.  I coach 10 year old girls soccer on Saturdays and continue to be amazed how difficult it is for folks to unplug from their email, phone, and other gadgets.

Last week one of our girls scored her first goal ever ( has played for five years)–her dad missed it!  He was texting someone!!   Let’s all commit to being present when with our families at the least.  Take time out and off from your plug-ins this weekend.

Celebrate you life and your family–do it UNPLUGGED!  This is a form of leadership –Leading Yourself!

Choosing Your Personal Board of Advisors

In business, a board of advisors is a small group of people which meets periodically to offer advice and direction to a company. Members of the board of advisors do not usually have a share in the company, and they do not bear legal responsibilities for the company’s actions. Generally, small and startup firms use a board of advisors so that they get a firm footing in their market, and people on the board are chosen on the base of expertise and prestige.

This model can carry over to help you in work and life.

From time to time I ask my coaching clients to create a ” Personal Board of Advisors”.   Depending on the focus on their overall goals the composition of this group of advisors will vary.

Here is an example: Goal focus was work-life integration with a desire to improve overall life satisfaction.

Personal Board of Advisors for Improved Work-Life Integration and Life Satisfaction

Values and Beliefs/Spirtual Advisor

Physical Health Advisor

Emotional Intelligence Advisor

Life Learning Advisor

Family Balance Advisor

Social Networks Advisor

Career Advisor

Financial Advisor

In this case an advisor was chosen to fill each one of these roles in support of improved work-life integration and life satisfaction.  The advisory board for this particular individual was recruited from  a network friends, work colleagues, the community, and in some cases a paid professional, in way of a financial planner.

Who would you choose to be on your Personal Board of Advisors?

What is Your Leadership Sweet Spot?

Your leadership sweet spot occurs at the confluence of the factors that intersect when you are at your best as a leader.

At Glowan, we believe that this intersection has three elements, total life mastery, the creation of collaborative advantage, and the ability to cultivate a high performance work culture and a best place to work.

There is an overlapping leadership sweet spot or secondary intersection where personal integrity, authenticity and balance align.

What is your leadership sweet spot?  What confluence of factors intersect when you are at your best as a leader?