Approachability: An Award Worthy Trait

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We are counting down the weeks to our C-Suite Network Social Media Legends Award Ceremony where we will recognize the leadership and accomplishments of C-level executives in social media engagement and thought leadership. You can find out more on our conference website or follow this series of posts about the traits of an outstanding C-Suite leader.

Do you know an outstanding C-Suite leader? Nominate them for a Social Media Legends Award.

This week’s trait: Approachability

5 Surefire Ways to Become a More Approachable Leader

via INC Whether you’re a startup or Fortune 500 executive, you can’t be an effective leader if people are hesitant to approach you. Sure, a stoic hard-ass personality exudes authority, but this shield will only push people away–which isn’t leading at all. Here are five simple steps that can make you a more approachable leader.

1. Share your failures

In the past, admitting my failures always seemed like an embarrassing scenario, so I often avoided it. Because I was leading people, I couldn’t let them see me sweat. In reality, this made me appear egoistic. No one wants to talk about their mistakes with someone who can’t recognize his own. Putting pride aside and realizing it’s OK to admit your failures will only strengthen communication within your company.

2. Step down from the CEO pedestal

When I was an intern at Ernst & Young, the idea of approaching the CEO, Jim Turley, terrified me. But after watching Jim dress up in a goofy DJ outfit and show off his turntable skills at our retreat, I went up and gave him a high five–and that set the tone for our relationship. Ten years later, I did a Backstreet Boys skit with our first five employees at our 2014 company retreat. Jim helped me realize that letting my guard down encourages others to do the same, and it shows people I’m human, too.

3. Be transparent and real

When we started Influence & Co., one of our core values was transparency. We actually tallied the number of times we said “transparent” on our whiteboard. But as our company’s grown, we’ve learned that transparency is more about honesty. It means having difficult conversations about how we can improve or telling a client why the relationship isn’t working out. It might be hard at first, but people will grow to appreciate your openness and trust that your words are genuine. Read More

Dedication: An Award Worthy Trait

We are counting down the weeks to our C-Suite Network Social Media Legends Award Ceremony where we will recognize the leadership and accomplishments of C-level executives in social media engagement and thought leadership. You can find out more on our conference website or follow this series of posts about the traits of an outstanding C-Suite leader.

Do you know an outstanding C-Suite leader? Nominate them for a Social Media Legends Award.

This week’s trait: Dedication

How to Stay Motivated when You’re a Motivator

via Mark Sanborn Being a leader is rewarding but it is also demanding. After all if you’re a leader, you are expected to motivate others, but it’s often hard to keep 1336746888_unnamedyourself motivated. So how do you–the motivator–stay motivated yourself? Here are some practical things you can do: The first step is to get encouragement and insights from others. Consider a mentor. Find a person who is the kind of person you’d like to be and who has accomplished some of the things you aspire to accomplish. Ask that person if they’d be willing to be your mentor. Make it clear to him or her that you’re not asking for a lot of their time, but rather an opportunity to occasionally check-in with them for feedback, ideas and encouragement. You could suggest a periodic lunch where you’d treat for the benefit of their time and wisdom. If having a personal mentor does not appeal to you, there are still other ways for you to get the motivation you need. It’s not always necessary to have a personal relationship with a motivational source. Who are the people who inspire you? You can benefit from the good example of others even if you don’t know them personally. Study their lives and what makes them successful. You don’t need to completely reinvent the motivation wheel. Read, listen, and learn. What you’re doing right now is a positive step in staying motivated and continuing to grow. Is there an author or speaker whose work motivates you? You could stock up on that person’s books, CDs, or videos and call on them anytime you need to plug in. In fact, you have an advantage in that you’re not subject to the limitations of another person’s schedule. If you want an ongoing dose of inspiration you can play a CD in your car daily. And there are books written by and about some of history’s greatest influencers that you can benefit from reading. It is also good to have human interaction to stay motivated. Another option is to join a group, such as a networking group or a mastermind group. The advantage of joining these types of groups is that they afford you the opportunity to interact with other like-minded ideals with similar responsibilities and aspirations and you learn and grow from others’ experiences and knowledge. Read More

Creating Personal Power Through Increased Adaptability

Creating Personal Power Through Increased Adaptability by Dr. Tony Alessandra
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A wise person once commented, “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.” That is, as people begin to learn about a new topic, they tend to jump to oversimplified and incomplete conclusions. When that happens, they are often less successful than is possible. But with continuing effort, thought, and increased study, they eventually graduate to a higher level of excellence. In terms of adaptability, this means it is essential for us to understand the following principles:
 
1.           Adaptability is not a goal in and of itself, but a means to the end of increased personal effectiveness and success.
2.           A key to effectiveness is to realize what level and type of adaptability component(s) are the critical factors in achieving a targeted goal.
3.      Being adaptable also means assessing the other available resources that can allow you to get your desired outcomes by acting smarter.
 
Adaptability, then, is important because it directly relates to your degree of achieved success in relationships with other people, to coping with changing conditions around you, to managing different types of situations.
 
Extreme behavior can raise others’ tensions
At times people may perceive extreme adaptability as acting wishy-washy, sashaying back and forth across the fence line, or acting two-faced. Additionally, a person who maintains high adaptability in all situations and relationships may not be able to avoid personal stress. This is usually temporary and may in fact be worth it if you gain rapport with the other person.
The other extreme of the continuum is little or no behavioral adaptability. This causes people to view someone as rigid and uncompromising – on behaving at his own pace and priority.
Adaptability is important to successful relationships of all kinds. People often adopt at least a partially different role in their professional lives than they do in their social and personal lives. This is to successfully manage the professional requirements of their jobs. Interestingly, many people tend to be more adaptable at work with people they know less and less adaptable at home with people they know better. Why? People generally want to create a good impression at work, but at home may relax and act themselves to the point of unintentionally stepping on other family members’ toes. Not an attractive family portrait, but often an accurate one.
 
Adaptability works
Effectively adaptable people meet the key expectations of others in specific situations—whether it’s in personal or business relationships. Through attention and practice, you can achieve a balance of strategically managing your adaptability by recognizing when a modest compromise is appropriate. You’ll also understand when it’s necessary to adapt to the other person’s behavioral style.
Practice managing relationships in a way that allows everyone to win. Be tactful, reasonable, understanding, non-judgmental, and comfortable to talk to. This results in a moderate position between the two extremes. You’re able to better meet the needs of the other person as well as your own. Adapt your pace and priority. Work at relationships so everybody wins at work, with friends, on dates, and with family.
When you try to accommodate the other person’s expectations and tendencies, you automatically decrease tension and increase trust. Adaptability enables you to interact more productively with difficult people, helps you in strained situations, and assists you in establishing rapport and credibility. It can make the difference between a productive or an ineffective interpersonal relationship. And your adaptability level also influences how others judge their relationships with you. Raise your adaptability level—trust and credibility soar; lower your adaptability level—trust and credibility plummet.
Another way of looking at this whole matter is from the perspective of maturity. Mature persons know who they are. They understand their basic DISC behavioral type and freely express their core patterns. However, when problems or opportunities arise, they readily and deliberately make whatever adjustments are necessary in their core patterns to meet the needs of the situation or relationship. Immature persons, on the other hand, lose effectiveness in dealing with the real world when they lock into their own style. By disregarding the needs of others, they end up causing conflict and tension that lead to less satisfaction and fulfillment in their life environments.

Perspective: An Award Worthy Trait

We are counting down the weeks to our C-Suite Network Social Media Legends Award Ceremony where we will recognize the leadership and accomplishments of C-level executives in social media engagement and thought leadership. You can find out more on our conference website or follow this series of posts about the traits of an outstanding C-Suite leader.

Do you know an outstanding C-Suite leader? Nominate them for a Social Media Legends Award.

This week’s trait: Perspective

Perspective, not Patience, is a Virtue

via LinkedIn

“Patience is a virtue.” Whether or not you agree, I think many of us have heard this phrase and understood it as: “waiting for something without getting upset is a positive quality in a person.”

Over the past few years, I have been reflecting on these four words and recommend a re-write: “Perspective is a virtue.”

I am at a challenging intersection in my professional journey. I am early in my career (three years of corporate experience), but have had opportunities to work directly with senior and C-suite level leadership at Fortune 500 companies (huge thank you to the partners and senior managers at Deloitte Consulting for empowering a then 21-year-old in the room).

Most recently, I have been serving as an Associate Program Manager for LinkedIn’s Business Leadership Program (BLP Global Sales), an early-in-career rotational program meant to build a top talent pipeline for our business units. My current role has me interfacing again, often with different ends of the professional spectrum.

On one end, we have the hungry young professional who is eager to own his or her career and often only has a few months of corporate experience under his or her belt. Every business decision made seems highly significant because he or she only has a limited amount of time to reflect on. Putting myself in the shoes of the early-in-career professional, I have every right to feel this way. When I enter my first career, the expectation is for everyone to treat me as an individual and support me as I embark on my professional journey.

Now take the opposite end of the spectrum, the business leaders who have had success in a 10, 20, or 30+ year long career. These are the same leaders who encourage our early-in-career professionals to work hard and ask for what they want. That said, business leaders have to (and should) prioritize making decisions that they believe will benefit companies at scale, not at the individual level.

Where the disconnect lies unfortunately is that early-in-career professionals often believe that decision making is made at an individual level; however, in most cases, business leaders make decisions at the enterprise level. This often leads to tension as early-in-career professionals may feel that every decision is “make or break” for their careers while senior leaders can more readily sort through this and understand which decisions may have the greatest long-term impacts on their careers.

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Curiosity: An Award Worthy Trait

We are counting down the weeks to our C-Suite Network Social Media Legends Award Ceremony where we will recognize the leadership and accomplishments of C-level executives in social media engagement and thought leadership. You can find out more on our conference website or follow this series of posts about the traits of an outstanding C-Suite leader.

Do you know an outstanding C-Suite leader? Nominate them for a Social Media Legends Award.

This week’s trait: Curiosity

Why curious people are destined for the c-suite

via Harvard Business Review When asked recently to name the one attribute CEOs will need most to succeed in the turbulent times ahead, Michael Dell, the chief executive of Dell, Inc., replied, “I would place my bet on curiosity.” Dell was responding to a 2015 PwC survey of more than a thousand CEOs, a number of whom cited “curiosity” and “open-mindedness” as leadership traits that are becoming increasingly critical in challenging times. Another of the respondents, McCormick & Company CEO Alan D. Wilson, noted that business leaders who “are always expanding their perspective and what they know—and have that natural curiosity—are the people that are going to be successful.” Welcome to the era of the curious leader, where success may be less about having all the answers and more about wondering and questioning. As Dell noted, curiosity can inspire leaders to continually seek out the fresh ideas and approaches needed to keep pace with change and stay ahead of competitors. A curious, inquisitive leader also can set an example that inspires creative thinking throughout the company, according to Hollywood producer Brian Grazer. “If you’re the boss, and you manage by asking questions, you’re laying the foundation for the culture of your company or your group,” Grazer writes in his book, A Curious Mind. Grazer and others maintain that leading-by-curiosity can help generate more ideas from all areas of an organization, while also helping to raise employee engagement levels. Read More