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People Development

What Does a Visionary Leader Act Like – 7 Styles of a Visionary

What Does a Visionary Leader Act Like – 7 Styles of a Visionary

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visionary leader styles

When you think of a visionary leader, what or who comes to mind? You could point out some of the most creative thinkers of the modern times like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. In fact, they might have inspired this style of leadership. Over the years, there are many styles of leadership that have emerged but none as compelling or as revolutionary as the visionary leadership style. 

Many would agree that this particular style of leadership is vital for organizations to thrive and achieve long-term success. But how exactly do they achieve that?

What is a Visionary Leadership Style?

It was Daniel Goleman, in his book “Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence,” who popularized the concept of adopting various leadership styles. In this book, he identifies six leadership styles and visionary is one of them. According to him, the most effective form of leadership must possess all six styles. 

However, the visionary leadership style is the one that has seen tremendous amounts of adaptation and success by organizations of different kinds. According to Goleman, this style of leadership is most effective when blazing new paths. This is most effective in settings wherein creativity, innovation, and experimentation are allowed to thrive. 

Visionary leaders are ones with a compelling vision for their business. They are fuelled by their own inspiration and are willing to chart a new course for the future of their organization. 

In doing so, they inspire the members of their team to adopt that same vision. But at the same time, they provide their subordinates the freedom to carve their own path to realize this shared vision. They do not dictate or seek control. 

visionary leadership style attributes

Visionary Leadership Style: Key Attributes

These are the 7 defining attributes that make visionary leaders different from the others:

1. Inspirational

A visionary leader believes that having a shared goal will increase your odds at success. This is why visionary leaders do not work alone. Instead, they inspire the members of their team to adopt the same goal. 

Your goal is to ignite the same passion within every member of your team. Having this shared goal will drive their emotions toward the right direction – towards achieving your goal. It will light the fire in everyone to give it their best and to support one another. 

2. Innovative

With inspiration comes the desire to innovate. 

Visionary leaders are not afraid to think outside the box. Since they are naturally creative thinkers, their minds are always wandering with possibilities about how they can realize a vision that some people might not have.

And yet, they are not afraid to speak their minds or be different from others. In fact, being different and doing something that others have not done before is what drives them to innovate some more. 

The best part is that visionary leaders inspire others to think outside the box as well.

3. Open-Minded

The desire to innovate comes with it a sense of open-mindedness. When you are open to new possibilities, your mind is not limited in terms of what it can achieve. This is the mindset that visionary leaders possess. 

They do not limit their perspective to one; they love to explore different mindsets and perspectives. Their ability to see the big picture also means they are highly flexible and adaptable. 

They do not let any setbacks stop them in their tracks. They are not afraid to carve out a new path in areas where one does not exist. 

4. Collaborative

Visionary leaders are team players. This is what sets them apart from other types of leaders. The visionary leadership style is all about getting each member of the team involved. This type of leader likes to bring out the best in every member of the team.

Visionary leaders know that they cannot achieve a vision on their own. They need to rely on the help of their subordinates. 

Therefore, they work on putting together a talented team with each member having a vital role to play. It is their goal to harness every skill or gift that others possess. 

In doing so, they foster an open environment wherein everyone is free to learn and use their skills to their fullest potential. 

5. Magnetic

You can identify a visionary leader just by talking to one. Their energy is magnetic; you feel inspired just by talking to them or listening to them speak.

This is why visionary leaders experience a lot of success. They are about making others feel included. They invite you to aspire to make your own vision. This is why many young and talented individuals are drawn to these types of leaders. They exude a lot of passion in what they do, and that can be very infectious. 

Visionary leaders foster an innovative culture within their organization.

6. Emotionally Aware

Visionary leaders establish an emotional connection with their subordinates. They are not distant; instead, they cultivate relationships on a personal – not just professional – level.

This empathy towards their employees or members of the team makes them feel valued. By recognizing the contributions that your subordinates make to an organization, you will find they repay that trust and recognition with more effort and commitment.

7. Goal-Oriented

Visionary leaders have a laser focused attention towards their goal. The moment they set a goal, they utilize their time and resources towards achieving that. They are resolute enough to not let anything get in their way of achieving that goal.

Their optimism helps them to succeed in any situation. They do not dwell on the difficulties and challenges of the task; instead, they are inspired by them to work even harder.  

importance of visionary leadership style

Why Is This Leadership Style Important? 

All organizations go through a period of constant change and uncertainty, especially as you try to grow your business. However, the visionary leadership style can help you overcome these challenges by remaining focused on the task at hand and having a clear vision of your end goal. 

By holding that vision of your goal, you facilitate commitment from every member of your team. You can also use your visionary leadership to inspire everyone to rally towards your common goal. The ability to align every member of your team towards a shared vision will give you a competitive edge in the market. 

People Development

4 Main Problems That Come With Poor Communication

4 Main Problems That Come With Poor Communication

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problems with poor communication

Communication permeates every aspect of human existence. It plays a huge role in the establishment of relationships, cultures, and civilizations. New-born babies announce their arrival in the world using the only form of communication they know – by crying out loud. For businesses and organizations, good communication is the glue that holds things together. Despite the advancement in technology however, many businesses and organizations still struggle in this aspect, and this lack of communication leads to a host of problems in the workplace. 

How Lack of Communication Impacts the Workplace

What are these problems? How can you avoid these problems and have better communication? Here are the important things you should know. 

It makes workplace more stressful 

Lack of communication creates a sense of negativity in the workplace which amplifies stress among your employees. 

When people do not have the knowledge or the right information they need to do their job, their productivity suffers. Consequently, disconnected and uninformed employees can cause unfavorable effects on the business and its bottom line.

Often, a workplace that suffers from lack of open communication and constructive interaction has no defined strategies for communication. This leads to misunderstandings, and while misunderstandings happen all the time, regular misunderstanding in the workplace can cause serious issues such as conflict between colleagues, wasting company resources, failed tasks, failure to meet deadlines, unsuccessful projects, etc.

One tell-tale sign of poor communication is that people in the workplace are feeling tensed, overworked, and stressed. Subsequently, employees who are constantly stressed go home to their families worn out, and this deeply impacts their relationship with their families. This stress stays with them until the next day, and so on, and it can be really hard to get ahead.

Misunderstandings, arguments, and distrust

As said earlier, lack of communication can lead to misunderstandings between colleagues. This could lead to arguments and distrust between co-workers, which is the last thing you want when leading and managing a group of people.

Employees feel connected with their organization through their co-workers. You want your employees to work together towards your company’s goals. If they feel disconnected from each other, it opens a lot of room for misinterpretations, leading them to question each other’s motives, intentions, and ultimately leads to distrust. 

When this happens, most people will find ways to push back, even if they cannot do it directly or openly. And this results in a never-ending cycle of arguments. This could lead to an increase in absences as your employees may not want to be in each other’s company. 

Trust also goes out the window making it difficult for people to work together and meet deadlines.

problems that come with lack of communication

Dissatisfied and unhappy clients

Superiors tend to feel frustrated and stressed when their employees miss important appointments, deadlines, and fail on important tasks and projects, but so do clients and customers. If someone from your customer service promised a customer the return of his phone services, but failed to relay the details of the problem to the technical department, that customer will end up frustrated. 

When clients are dissatisfied and unhappy, they will take their business elsewhere. This will cost your company a paying customer. 

It can cause the “Grapevine Effect”

Someone will share something; it just may not be exactly what you said. It probably won’t even be correct. This is called the grapevine effect – the spread of unofficial information, also known as gossip. Since gossip is often incomplete and incorrect, it is open to change and interpretation subject to the speaker and the listener. 

The dissemination of ambiguous facts associated with the rumor could lead to disarray and disaster in the workplace.

So how do you solve the problem of lack of communication in the workplace? 

Ways to combat lack of communication in the workplace

Improving communication is easier said than done, especially if you have no idea how to do it and what the right tools to use are. Don’t know where to start? Here are some tips to help you out.

Establish the foundation

As a leader of the team, you want each member of your team to trust you. The more they trust you, the more they are open to communicate with you. That is why you need to establish a rapport with your team first.

You can start by taking your team to lunch or dinner. Make it light and do not talk about business or work. Rather, try to learn more about each other. This small gesture will break the ice between you and your team and open the line of communication for everyone.

Prove you are trustworthy

Many employees do not trust their employer: that’s a fact. It is your job as an employer to earn their trust.

Show them you are trustworthy by being genuine to them. Prove this in words and actions by showing empathy to their dilemmas. Make sure you follow through on things you say you will, especially if they ask for your help. People will most likely communicate a challenge or problem when they know they can trust you  and that you can work with them to find a solution. 

Actually listen, avoid making quick assumptions

Communication is a two-way street; it is not solely about getting your message across, it is about actually listening to what they have to say. Listen carefully before responding. 

Make sure you are all on the same page. Ask for clarifications and give each conversation with each of your team members your full attention. 

Consequently, quickly formed assumptions that came from missed signals are a recipe for disaster. If a person is lagging in a task you assigned him, do not quickly assume he is slacking or simply does not care. Ask the person what is causing the problem and help him find a solution.

improve communication problem in the workplace

Learn their strengths and weaknesses

Part of knowing your team is knowing each of their strengths and weaknesses. You may find out some people accomplish things faster in concentrated bursts, meanwhile some do their best work in ordered and segmented blocks. 

Make their roles clear to them from the start

Make sure each member of your team understands their roles and responsibilities in each project, right from the start. What channels the project needs to go through? Who has the final approval?  Keep the workflow transparent and establish all the stakeholders in each project.

Be thoughtful in providing constructive criticism and compliments. 

When giving your feedback, make sure you do not sound aggressive. Subsequently, give them a chance to share their thoughts and how they can work on the criticisms you just shared.

When giving compliments, break down how and why their work impressed you. Be as specific as possible. 

Solving the problem of lack of communication in the workplace may be challenging, but it is worth it.

People Development

Learn The Power of Storytelling & Why It is Important In Leadership

Learn The Power of Storytelling & Why It is Important In Leadership

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learn the power of storytelling

Expert marketers advocate the use of storytelling in order to build a compelling marketing message. By making it easy for your target audience to relate to your products and services, you can gain an edge over your competition. Did you know that leaders can benefit from the power of storytelling, too? 

Stories are what unite us as humans. Every individual has a story to tell. To become a great leader, you can leverage the power of stories to make an impact on your team and the organization as a whole. 

The Importance of Storytelling as a Leader

Great storytelling involves a lot of hard work, attention to detail, and understanding your audience. As a leader, you need this particular skill in order to inspire change and motivate the people within your organization. It’s a tool that can be used to communicate ideas more effectively because you establish an emotional and cognitive connection.

You do not need to have scaled Mount Everest or built the next greatest invention in order to tell a great story. You can make anything interesting as long as you have the right tools and processes to communicate your story.

There are three reasons why the power of storytelling is crucial for effective leadership. 

Stories are memorable

If you want to make an impact on the people who follow you within your organization, you can leverage stories to make it easier for them to connect with you. Stories are a common ground for all humans, no matter your position or role in the organization. An effective leader is someone who can connect with everyone and make them feel valued within the organization.

Great stories last a long time

An effective leader is someone who can make an impact even after they are no longer around. Even if you move to a different company or leave the organization behind, you can still promote productivity and enthusiasm in others by sharing stories that inspire them to do better. The learning they get from you extends beyond the mere act of sharing stories; the stories live within those that you lead in the organization. 

Stories inspire action from others

The ultimate goal of leaders is to inspire and motivate others. It is a way of sharing experiences. Even if others are not involved in the story, sharing it with them can make them feel a part of that experience. You can leverage that to compel them to take your desired action. 

Moreover, stories are based on experiential learning. It is an effective way to convey ideas and showcase the potential for human accomplishment. 

importance of storytelling as a leader

How to Develop the Power of Storytelling in Leadership

Do you want to become more effective as a storytelling leader? 

It doesn’t take rocket science to become a better storyteller. Here are a few things that you need to know in order to develop the power of storytelling as a leader.

1. Collect stories

As a leader, you do not need to travel the world and collect unbelievable stories to share. All you have to do is collect stories that you can share. How do you collect people’s stories? 

When you meet new people, you can get to know them by letting them share an inspiring story or two. You can also read a lot. Reading about other leaders’ stories can inspire you, and will give a few insights that you can share with your team. 

By collecting stories, you develop the ability to discriminate and identify stories that make an impact or add value (versus those that do not). Immerse yourself in others’ stories so you have a bank of them to share when the situation is right.

2. Dissect stories

One of the best tips to become a better storyteller is to dissect what makes a good story. If you believe a story is good, find out why. What is it about the story that makes it powerful and compelling? What characteristics are in the stories and characters that resonate with you? 

This is an essential step in identifying a good story. In the end, it helps you identify how to create stories that make the same impact on others.

3. Dissect the bad stories, too

In order to be a great storyteller, you need to analyze not just great stories – you must do the same with bad stories, too. 

It’s easy to say that a certain story is terrible. But why is it terrible? What elements about it don’t work? How can you improve on it? List the reasons why a story may be considered bad so you can avoid it when you are the one having to tell the story. 

4. Ask for feedback

A good leader is someone who is able to take and learn from any kind of feedback. A little constructive criticism never hurt anyone. If you want to harness the power of storytelling to become a better leader, you need to be open to getting feedback from others. 

An important tip to remember when telling a story is that you must provide context. This context will increase the relevance of the story that you share and make it easy for the audience to relate to. 

become an effective storyteller leader

The Power of Storytelling: Is It Worthwhile?

Becoming a great storyteller is not a walk in the park. It takes a lot of work. However, putting in the time and effort to learn what makes a good storyteller is worth it, especially if your leadership style relies on it. 

There is a growing body of research and evidence that explains the impact of storytelling on the human brain. The best stories are the ones that can make the audience more empathic – it should make them feel care and connection.

If that’s not enough, this study concludes that most people forget about 40% of new information they receive. By telling a story, people will more likely remember what you had to say. This is very important if you want to make an impact as a leader. Stories can be leveraged to deliver a message clearly, stir emotions, and inspire action. Emotions are what motivate others to act on your message, especially if it has something to do with your organization. 

Coaching People Development

Localizing Your Leadership Team

Localizing Your Leadership Team

By Gary Malcolm, Managing Partner of LHH and an accredited Executive Coach

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Localizing The Leadership Team

In my capacity as an Executive Coach, a common challenge that I have heard from international companies in Vietnam is how to successfully localize, “promote from within”, and onboard newly promoted executives into the leadership team. Having supported these new executives over the years, I have seen three common themes emerge around challenges they face with the leadership transition.

Adopting a Two Team Mindset

All individuals that have been identified to be a leadership team member have a fairly ‘cookie-cutter’ recipe for success: be technically excellent at what they do, achieve exceptional performance leading a business unit, and be recognized by the organization as having the qualities and potential for executive leadership.

However, a common misconception is that this winning recipe will also equate to success in the leadership team. Partway into the new role, they default to a focus on their own performance and the success of their business unit to the detriment of the leadership team. What they often fail to appreciate is they are now a member of a new team, and their contribution, perceived value-add and collective success of the leadership team are now of equal.

When I work with an executive, I call this “Adopting a Two Team Mindset“. To be effective, the new executive member must accept they are a member of two equally important teams that are both competing for their time and effort. The imperative is the executive has a shift in mindset, finds the correct time/effort balance, and is conscious of when they slip back into old behavior.

Politics Is Not For Me

Another theme that I have observed from coaching fresh executives is a reluctance to be involved in organizational politics. They typically describe it as a bad practice, or against their values and beliefs, or that it feels inauthentic and manipulative. As such, they adopt an avoidance approach.

Unfortunately, every company has internal politics. As a CEO eloquently put it to me: “It’s just a form of soft influence or an alternative way of getting things done. It is not necessarily a negative, but it’s a necessary part of doing business.”

To be effective, an executive must accept that “playing politics” is a necessary part of being a leadership team member. Therefore, it’s important the executive practices “good” politics which enables them to further their individual and team’s interests appropriately. It’s not always a negative and it is possible to further a cause without compromising values and beliefs.

Am I In, or Part-Way In?

The third and most frequent theme is how organizations onboard locally promoted executives into the leadership team. Typically, it takes the form of ‘part membership’ through attending (some) team meetings, a slightly larger scope of responsibility, or being asked to lead an organization-wide project. It is done under the notion that the executive needs to prove themselves or earn their place.

Often I observe that the executive is not given full access to all information to be able to contribute equally or the decision-making authority to get things done. They are expected to perform at the same level as their peers, yet without the tools and resources to be successful. As a result, they are often on a path to failure.

In this case, I work with executives to have meaningful discussions with their boss on defining their roles, responsibilities and reporting lines, barriers resulting from ‘part membership with the aim of gaining clarity around their pathway to full leadership team membership.

Whilst the above three themes are not an exhaustive list of the challenges facing new leadership team members, they are common barriers to success that are easily overcome.

About Gary Malcolm

Gary is the Managing Partner of LHH Vietnam, and an ICF-PCC accredited Executive Coach.

In his role at LHH, Gary is helping to reshape the Coaching, Career Transition, and Assessment markets in Vietnam; through education and the implementation of best practice and international standards.

Gary’s clients are senior leaders and executives at Global 1,000 companies. He helps them navigate Workforce Transformations – both managing the “pain” of restructures, whilst focusing on the “gain” of developing the organization’s people.

A market leader for the last 20 years, LHH’s services include Career Transition & Outplacement, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Workforce Advisory, and Change Management. We are powered by LHH Global’s 385 offices in 64 countries, and our clients are the most recognized brands in Vietnam and all of Southeast Asia.

Coaching People Development

Why Coaching Works

Why Coaching Works

Why coaching? – It’s good for people, and good for business. It gives you all the benefits of corporate training – except people actually enjoy it and learn from it.

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the value of coaching

Imagine what your organization could achieve if everyone were coached to be their absolute best. – Sure, there are other ways to invest in your people. But have they ever brought someone to tears through self-reflection? Doubt it. Through coaching, your people get to know themselves. Their goals. Weaknesses. Hang-ups. And once they know all that, they can build on the good stuff and work on the rest.

Coaches change lives. And organizations. That’s why we’re here.

The Value Of Coaching

A Business Superpower For Everyone

Why not away days? Bigger bonuses? More vacation time? Those are fine. But they’re not tailored to each person. And they don’t have the same tangible impact.

Coaching is good for people, and good for business. It gives you all the benefits of corporate training – except people actually enjoy it and learn from it.

The personal power of coaching

According to the International Coach Federation (ICF), 99% of people who get coaching are satisfied with it, and 96% would recommend it to others.

Why? Unlike other benefits or training, coaching’s personal. It’s about your people, not the company agenda or corporate tick boxes. Sessions can touch on mindsets, beliefs, internal barriers, self-doubt, perspectives, work issues, home issues – whatever the coachee needs.

They feel more confident. They know what to do in tricky situations. They become better leaders. If that doesn’t sound like the model employee, we don’t know what does.

What’s in it for your organization?

It’s like supercharging your workforce.

Coaching makes them happier, so they’re more likely to stay. It makes them more confident, so they can tackle whatever they face. And it creates a culture of learning, so the coaching goes on outside the sessions.

We’ll show you the proof, too.

Coaching sessions are always confidential. But we’ll send you a monthly report outlining everyone’s feedback. And you can see data on how people are getting on with their objectives too.

All of which means you don’t have to take our word for any of this – you’ll be able to see the progress for yourself.

What is Coaching?

A quick intro to professional coaching

Professional coaching has definitely seen an upswing in recent years as companies grow larger and jobs become more complicated. But what exactly is it, and why might you need it for your team?

What actually is it?

The International Coaching Federation describes coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

This means that a coach works with a client to define their professional goals and encourage self-discovery, and assists them in designing a plan that holds them accountable for making changes.

A growing demand

The stats alone show that the demand for professional coaching is constantly growing. Rapid changes in the way we work and our business environments has meant traditional methods of developing our companies and staff no longer yield the same results that they used to. As the landscape changes, it becomes a constant battle for employees to stay on top of their shifting responsibilities and goals.

In order to combat this, companies have to start committing themselves to developing their staff and encouraging their growth. Hiring a professional who can be trusted and who knows what needs doing is the obvious answer.

Why Get Coaching?

Why bother with coaching in your business?

The results from coaching will vary from person to person but, whatever your end goal is, it provides a perfect opportunity for both personal and professional development for your team.

Improvements across the board

According to the Harvard Business Review, ten years ago coaching was mostly used to fix toxic behavior. Nowadays it’s used for all manner of reasons across whole companies, not just at the top.

Whether it’s developing high-potential staff, helping to facilitate transitions, or encouraging someone in a new role, coaching is a way of supporting your team and promoting a positive environment.

Results for the long-term

It used to be that staff would be sent on short-term improvement courses, but this often only promotes a short-term change. In order to see long-term development, managers and leaders need to consider an approach that works to change internal thought processes and patterns. That’s where coaching can help.

As coaching grows, more studies are undertaken and the takeaway from them is that you can expect to see a marked improvement in your team’s positivity and productivity, their confidence and their ability to adapt and be flexible, and their attitude when it comes to facing challenges or obstacles.

Source: Ezra

Career Transition, Outplacement and Mobility Coaching People Development

Reskilling the C-Suite: Leading into the Future

Reskilling the C-Suite: Leading into the Future

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C-suite executives are not being asked to personally match the reskilling demands that are being placed on other levels of the leadership hierarchy. There are some very basic things senior business leaders can do to ensure you are transforming yourself at the same pace and magnitude as you are trying to change your organizations.

I have always considered myself digitally literate.

I’m comfortable using all my tech devices and know my way around social media. In my position at LHH, I have regular and informed conversations with other senior leaders about things like artificial intelligence, machine learning and the blockchain.

So, when I agreed to take a digital literacy self-assessment a couple of years ago, I wasn’t all that worried about the outcome.

Turns out I should have been at least a little concerned.

The self-assessment is part of a foundational digital literacy course for executives offered by General Assembly, a sister enterprise to LHH in the Adecco Group. To my great surprise, I found out that there were several areas of digital knowledge where I just didn’t know as much as I should have.

That’s a tough realization for any executive leader. How could I be lacking in skills and knowledge that are so essential for success in the current business environment? That question strikes deep at the heart of a much bigger issue: the collective failure of executive leaders to engage their organization in reskilling and upskilling.

Unless you have starved yourself of all business news, you’ll know that the world is facing an enormous skills mismatch that could possibly leave tens of millions of working people around the world out of a job. Too many people are trained to fill jobs that are quickly disappearing; too few have the training and skills to fill the jobs of the future.

None of us can say we haven’t been warned.

From Oxford University and MIT, to the World Economic Forum to McKinsey, Gartner and PwC, the world’s leading strategic business thinkers, consultants and researchers have been warning us for years now that technology and the demands of macro forces like climate change are going to make many jobs completely disappear. Without urgent and focused investment on reskilling, there are going to be millions of people unable to earn a basic living.

And yet, in our client conversations and through all the available data we see at LHH, it’s quite clear that we’re not taking the action needed to address this urgent problem.

A recent survey by LHH of more than 2,000 hiring decision-makers from around the world found that less than half (47 percent) believe their organizations are trying to identify their employees’ transferrable skills so that they can be reskilled to fill future job openings. And only one-third are confident in their organization’s ability to deliver reskilling and upskilling programs

No matter how you cut it, those responses prove that we are just not meeting this challenge head-on.

So, why are the senior-most leaders failing in the face of the greatest human capital challenge in many generations? After considering all the possibilities and talking at length with leaders all over the world, I’ve come to believe that business executives fail to provide reskilling for their people because many of them are in desperate need of reskilling.

Many years ago, earning money as a student, I worked on an IT help desk that, on many occasions, required me to attend to the offices of C-level executives to help them with computer problems. Although some of these problems involved legitimate failures of hardware or software, in many other instances it was a case of executives not possessing even the most elementary knowledge of how to operate and utilize their technology devices.

Given that technology has a much larger role in all our lives today, the problem is just as bad, or maybe even worse now than back then.

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review noted that while survey data is showing that the pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation at most large companies, C-suite executives were not being asked to personally match the demands that were being placed on other levels of the leadership hierarchy.

The authors of that article analyzed job postings for C-suite positions across a broad swath of Fortune 1000 companies. The study found that while digital skills were very much table stakes for chief information and marketing officers, only 60 percent of postings for CEOs and 40 percent of advertised jobs for presidents included digital skill requirements.

This data is a pretty graphic example of the disconnect many executives have to the reskilling equation. We all understand reskilling is a key to transitioning people out of redundant jobs into more sustainable jobs in the digital economy. But many of us just don’t know how to make that happen because our own skillsets are lacking and the people around us are loath to tell us how far behind we’ve fallen.

Fortunately, there are solutions we can employ. In short, it’s time for executive leaders to start changing the way we approach our jobs. It’s not just the pressing need to acquire more and better digital skills; we need to start building cultures where the people around us can provide us with honest feedback, so we know where we need to do better.

When you’re at the very top of an organization, it’s unlikely that someone else is going to tell you that you need to up your game. You must find the motivation within yourself to identify those areas where you need to upskill or even reskill. There are some very basic things you can do to ensure you are transforming yourself at the same pace and magnitude as you are trying to change your organizations.

Get out of the echo chamber. One of the biggest problems that C-Suite leaders have is that if they get any feedback – and many do not – it’s not honest or frank. The hierarchies in many companies ensure that the senior-most leaders are never in a position where their performance is being critiqued. As C-suite leaders, we should seek that kind of feedback and be willing to act on what we hear.

Get a coach. I remind C-suite leaders who eschew coaching that all the best elite athletes in the world, both in team and individual sports, rely on coaches to help them perfect their technique and fortify their mindset. Coaching helps us confront and reflect on our shortcomings and focus on corrective courses.

Use a coaching mindset when leading others. One of the greatest parts of having a relationship with a coach is that it will teach you how to use a coaching mindset to get more out of the people you lead. A coaching mindset ensures that you do as much listening as talking, and that you inspire others by showing your confidence in them. A coaching mindset, or a reverse-mentoring approach to leadership, not only helps you embrace your own skill deficit, but it will help you start conversations with other members of the executive team who might suffer from the same problem.

Future-proof your own skills to help guide your organization. Even though you’ve reached the C-suite, you still have a lot to learn. If you want to build an organization that embraces change and welcomes reskilling, demonstrate that you embrace it in your own job. Take a digital literacy course, register for some Harvard short courses, make sure you are constantly reading books and news to keep up on what’s going on in the world. Show the people you lead that continuous improvement through learning is baked into the culture of the organization at the highest levels.

There is no escaping the pressing need to reskill and upskill to meet the future of work head on. Change is coming. And business leaders must demonstrate that they are adapting to the seismic transformations that are unfolding today and those that are unknown to us now but which we will face soon.

If you want your organization to follow you fearlessly into that future, you need to not only tell them what they need to do, you need to show them you can take your own advice. Only then will you be able to find yourself on the right side of the upskilling challenge.

digital transformation

“The overwhelming response from employees is the positivity in feeling rather than outcomes being dictated to them they have more control of their own destiny,” he says.

This article was originally published in C-Level Magazine on May 13, 2021.

To learn more about developing a renewable workforce, visit https://lhh.com.vn/the-new-roi/

Coaching People Development

EQ: The Great White Whale of Leadership Development

EQ: The Great White Whale of Leadership Development

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EQ: The Great White Whale of Leadership Development

In a new survey of 500 people managers, a solid majority of respondents (57%) said that EQ was likely to be found in the highest-performing members of a team.

Author: Burak Koyuncu

It is the great white whale of leadership development.

Leaders who are not only technically proficient but also mature, empathetic and trustworthy. Leaders who are decisive but also listen to their teams before reaching a conclusion. Leaders who are attuned to the emotional state of their teams and demonstrate confidence to inspire others rather than to feed their self-aggrandizement.

Put it all together and you have a leader who embodies what people managers would describe as a high degree of emotional intelligence. However, while most organizations value these qualities, new research suggests that we regularly fail at identifying or cultivating emotional intelligence, more commonly known as an Emotional Quotient (EQ).

In a recent Lee Hecht Harrison Penna survey of 500 people managers, a solid majority of respondents (57%) said that EQ was likely to be found in the highest-performing members of a team. Not surprisingly, 75% of respondents use EQ to determine promotions and salary increases.

However, the same survey revealed more than two-thirds of organizations (68%) do not have any formal tools in place to identify, develop or leverage EQ. Further, only 42% provide specific training to help employees cultivate emotional intelligence. 

A Deeper Understanding of Emotional Intelligence

To understand the impact that EQ can have on the performance of an organization, we need to take a deeper dive into the qualities most often associated with emotionally intelligent leaders and the consequences that a low EQ can have on an organization.

We asked survey respondents to identify the qualities they associate with leaders who are emotionally intelligent. For example, more than half of our respondents identified empathy as a quality demonstrated by a leader with high EQ. The responses to our survey show very clearly that what have traditionally been described as “soft leadership skills” are in fact the key ingredients for EQ.

These qualities are not only growing exponentially in importance for existing leaders, they are also being used increasingly to guide recruitment and promotion decisions.

In fact, some survey respondents identified EQ skills as more important than experience in a similar role (13%) and educational attainment (11%), which have typically been considered precursors for leadership success.

Our respondents also connected higher levels of emotional intelligence with success in a series of critical tasks and responsibilities, particularly in the area of decision making.

People with higher EQ tend to be better able to assess the impact of their decisions on both customers and employees. It allows them to arrive at more balanced decisions that take into account all perspectives. That helps build support for decisions. People with low EQ might focus on purely numerical or non-human aspects of a challenge and will almost certainly ignore competing or alternative perspectives. 

Survey respondents also believed EQ is a key ingredient to success in leading teams through times of change (44%), addressing personal issues of employees (37%), giving feedback or employee appraisals (31%) and spotting talent (25%). Someone with a high EQ is much more likely to spot others with the same mindset and capabilities; low EQ hiring managers tend to either not recognize or devalue skills related to emotional intelligence.

This shifting mindset—and the growing recognition of the importance of high leadership EQ—may have a lot to do with the increasing awareness about what happens when leaders do not possess emotional intelligence.

When there is a lack of empathy, self-awareness or trustworthiness, employees can easily become disengaged from their employer and, more importantly, their customers.

Our research showed clearly that even when an organization recognizes the value of EQ, it may still have no idea about how to develop and harness its power. There are, however, several critical steps an organization can take to improve their overall EQ.

Assess and measure existing EQ

There are several assessment tools that can help organizations successfully measure the EQ landscape in their workforce. If an assessment reveals that a majority of leaders in one department score low in “empathy,” the company can intervene to educate those individuals in the importance of considering other perspectives when executing their duties. An organization cannot intervene, however, if it doesn’t know which departments have an EQ deficit or what specific qualities are lacking.

Integrate EQ into management practices

Learning programs can help bring awareness to the importance of EQ. However, companies can also integrate EQ into their leadership culture by taking steps to build a culture of coaching, where reflection, listening and collaboration are emphasized over quick judgment or imposing solutions. 

Related Article: There Isn’t a Better Time to Build a True Coaching Culture

Encourage leaders to learn from other leaders

Creating opportunities for leaders to gather and discuss their experiences can help develop EQ muscle memory. When leaders see the value of connecting with each other on a more personal or individual level, they should begin to see the value of using a similar approach with their own teams.

Create time for reflection

Sometimes, deadline and workflow demands make it hard for teams and leaders to just take a break and reflect on what they are doing and how they are doing it. It’s important to build in those pauses so that team members can discuss successes and struggles or failures. Creating those opportunities to reflect not only builds EQ, it also ensures people are not bottling up feelings of frustration or resentment. 

Build a pipeline

It is harder to cultivate EQ with existing leaders than it is to recruit new leaders who already possess high emotional intelligence. Consider incorporating EQ identifiers into recruitment tools like job descriptions and interview scoring sheets. There are also some psychometrics available in the market to identify individuals’ EQ values.

In the final analysis, EQ is about employees being more self-aware of their emotions and the emotions of the people they lead. It’s not an easy mindset to develop, but the payoff is well worth the effort. Leaders with strong EQ create an environment of trust and confidence that fosters strong teamwork and higher levels of performance. 

Source: lhh.com

Coaching People Development

Restructuring in 2021: What are the risks?

Restructuring in 2021: What are the risks?

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Restructuring in 2021: What are the risks?

We explore the 5 key risks that get over-looked in a large-scale restructuring programme and how best to mitigate them.

Many labour market’s across Europe have largely been on pause throughout the pandemic. Whether through generous government and central bank stimulus or furlough schemes that subsidised wages of around 45m people1, employees and organisations have in some way been shielded from the fallout of the pandemic. As the pandemic continues to affect us all in 2021 the strain will be on these government schemes to remain, and on organisations to keep their people employed where they can. However, as we’ve seen already, some companies need to act now and restructure to survive and thrive beyond 2021.

33% of C-suite executives believe restructuring the organisation is a top measure needed to ensure survival2

The Scale of Restructuring

Although outlooks continue to brighten and some markets are starting to slowly recover, the unemployment rate is still expected to reach 8,1%3 across the eurozone and continue to rise through 2021. This isn’t surprising considering the significant size of the job cuts that have happened so far from big named brands. Even with the help from government schemes to prevent job cuts, we’ve seen companies from a variety of industries reduce headcount in the tens of thousands like never before.

With companies being forced to downsize in order to survive, organisations that will remain standing at the end of this year and beyond are those who handle this transition period effectively. Large-scale restructuring programmes are highly complex and require an extensive collaborative approach across the organisation as well as a significant investment in time and resources. The risks of getting a large-scale restructuring programme wrong can be huge and sometimes fatal for organisations.

Putting people at the heart of a restructuring program

Businesses will be depending on their HR professionals to deliver and provide support for a key part of any large-scale restructuring programme. Putting people at the heart of any restructure is what separates a successful process from a high risk one. This people aspect requires technical expertise in topics such as employment law, social plans and specific career transition approaches as well as programme management, communication and change management. Additionally, any complications that arise with various regional and/or local requirements will only add to the complexities of a restructuring programme.

Top risks in restructuring

Here are 5 potential risks that get overlooked in large-scale restructuring programmes:

1. Employee engagement and morale drop

Risk – High

The risk of low engagement and a drop in morale is high. Employee issues and concerns need to be addressed appropriately as any confusion or frustration left unattended will quickly lead to negativity that will seep onto remaining employees. Some of these concerns may also include how those who are leaving are treated as they evaluate how fairly the process is handled.

2. Significant productivity loss

Risk – Moderately high

Due to the inevitable disruption caused by a restructure, productivity will be affected. But by how much? If managers fail to lead and provide transparent communications throughout the process, the risk of productivity taking a significant loss is moderately high.

3. Employer brand damage

Risk – Moderately high

An erosion of trust caused by a poorly handled restructuring programme can have a negative impact on turnover, engagement and the employer brand. The impact of this may not be felt immediately but can certainly be seen over a longer period which is why this risk is moderately high. 

4. Restructuring goals not fully met

Risk – Moderately high

In the absence of clarity of what success looks like and how it will be measured, the restructure effort presents a moderately high risk of failure. The difference a well thought-out and realistic plan can make on the success of a restructure can be substantial. 

5. Negative leaver sentiments

Risk – Moderate

If any part of the consultation or communication process is dealt with badly, the impact on leavers sentiment may be negative. Even though these people are leaving the business, the risk is still moderate as any loosely defined processes, false starts or inconsistencies has a potential to come back and harm the organisation. 

With more changes looming this year, there are positive steps HR professionals can take to support their organisation with planned restructuring programmes. Putting the building blocks together now ensures that line managers, the HR team and the business leaders are prepared to implement a smooth transitional process and that risks are kept to a minimum. 

To learn more about how you can support your business and prepare for a large-scale restructuring programme, you can download our guide here.

Source: lhh.com

Coaching People Development

Finding The Perfect Coaching Partner

Finding The Perfect Coaching Partner

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Finding The Perfect Coaching Partner

Faced with a pressing need to help your leaders forge ahead through an increasingly uncertain world, you’ve decided to take the plunge and partner with a leadership coaching firm.

What a smart cookie you are.

Coaching is a difference maker. In the world of development, it’s a superpower that can supercharge your people.

It can help leaders at all levels of your organization become more effective, more empathetic and more productive. Ultimately, a well-coached leader will help make all of your people more engaged and productive. It’s the ultimate win-win scenario in leadership development.

But for most organizations, developing an appetite for coaching is not the toughest part. The real challenge is finding the right coaching partner. And that, my friend, can be a real mind-bending experience.

So many providers, so many approaches, so many promises. The leadership coaching industry is a complex matrix of solutions, technologies and philosophies. It’s also an industry that is chock full of posers – fitness trainers, wellness gurus and holistic practitioners – moonlighting as professional business coaches.

In a bid to help you understand the true and full power of coaching and how to find your perfect coaching partner, we’ve decided to pull back the curtain and tell you a few things that many other coaching firms won’t. Think of it as your coaching partner checklist.

What leadership coaching is (and what it isn’t)

In short, coaching is one of the most powerful development tools ever created.

It’s a very personalized, intimate, one-on-one intervention that focuses on collaboration between coach and coachee to achieve pre-defined outcomes, some organizational and some personal. It’s all about setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change in a way that works for an individual leader.

Coaches do not “tell” coachees what to do; they help leaders examine the challenges they face and then identify their own solutions. It’s all about the journey to grow as an individual and the coach serves as a guide. It is, in every way, a true partnership.

If that’s what coaching is, then what is it not?

Coaching is not mentoring, counselling or training. Although valuable in and of themselves, those disciplines are more about imparting wisdom or knowledge to a leader. Although they may involve coaching-like approaches, the relationships are more hierarchical, particularly in a mentor-mentee scenario.

And let’s be totally frank. Although you may have many hobbies and share an interest in a particular type of cuisine, coaching is not about swapping recipes for healthy eating or setting fitness goals. It’s not guidance on yoga poses or meditation. Those are all valuable and satisfying activities. But they do not fall into the realm of professional coaching.

How to start a search for the perfect coaching partner?

If you’re company has never provided coaching at scale, or limited coaching solutions to a select few senior executives, then you’re going to have to do some homework before you can start looking for that perfect professional coaching partner.

To be effective, a coaching solution needs to be fully aligned with an organization and its leadership culture. There is very little value in providing coaching for leaders that is at odds with the expectations the organization has for those leaders.

So, methodically answer the following questions and record the answers. They will help to inform your search for a coaching firm.

  • Who makes decisions about leadership development in your company and what are their expectations?
  • How would your organization define the goals for your leadership and talent strategy?
  • How would you define and measure success in leadership development?
  • What are the ideal behaviour and mindset changes you would like to see from your leaders after they are exposed to coaching?
  • What strengths do you want to see enhanced?
  • How would you like your employees to act differently?

When you can answer these questions, then you are ready to start looking for a coaching partner. You now know how decisions about leadership development are made, the goals and modes of measurement and the desired outcomes. Let’s start shopping for a professional coach.

How to find your perfect coaching partner

Be warned: this is a very competitive industry and there is a huge variance between the real coaching pros and the posers. You will do much better if you understand how to spot a real coach but also if you have a list of must-have requirements.

Your coaching partnership must involve:

A firm that offers certified, accredited and 100-per-cent full-time, professional coaches. A coaching partner that takes the time to ask you question to find out your organization’s needs and desired outcomes. And you definitely want a coaching partner that will ensure that the work completely aligns with organizational and leadership culture.

You can deduce a lot of this information from reading a coaching partner’s website or marketing content. But a better approach is to structure an RFP that will give you all the answers you need to pick the right firm.

The coaching RFP checklist

Here are some examples of questions that absolutely, positively must be part of your RFP:

What professional coaching credentials do your coaches hold? 

There are a lot of self-trained, self-identified coaches out there. You definitely want someone with credentials from a recognized leader in the coaching profession, like the International Coaching Federation.

What experiences do your coaches have with coaching diverse employees from different backgrounds and industries? 

Your employee group is a collection of individuals with diverse experiences, backgrounds and career goals. Your coaching partner should be able to find you coaches that are similarly diverse and possess a wealth of related career experience.

How big is the coach pool? 

It’s important to have a broad selection of coaches to pick from. Both to ensure that your leaders are getting coaching when they need it, but also to ensure that there is proper fit between coach and coachee.

What languages do your coaches speak and where are they located? 

Business is a global concern now and coaching needs to be able to reflect a broad array of languages, cultures, and time zones.

What is the diversity mix of your coaches? For example, gender, racial diversity, LGBTQ+

Diversity and inclusion are important considerations in picking a coaching partner. You definitely want a partner that can draw upon an extremely diverse roster of coaches that reflect the importance of gender, race and sexual orientation.

How do you match coaches with employees? 

Coaching firms with small coach rosters will not allow for an intensive matching process. A broad and deep pool of coaches, and a process that helps coachees identify the kind of person they want to work with, will ensure a good match.

Describe your coaching process?

Even with global certifications, different firms still employee different models of coaching. Ask a prospective coaching partner to define their approach. As well, is there a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach or flexibility to design coaching solutions that fit the individual?

What type of technology do you use for the coaching platform?

With the pandemic still impacting face-to-face business interactions, it’s more important than ever to know the full details of your coaching partner’s technology platform. If not in person, then how will they deliver coaching? Will they rely on off-the-shelf video conferencing apps, or do they have a full proprietary platform that allows for seamless integration of coaching with scheduling, feedback and the measuring of outcomes?

Can your coaching partner measure outcomes?

Many coaching providers deliver the service but offer no way of gathering insights or generating reports on feedback and outcomes. If your organization is paying the freight for coaching, don’t you want to know the impact it’s having on your people?

Who are some of your clients and what do they have to say about your work?

Testimonials from other client organizations are a very good way of assessing the quality of any coaching firm. Let’s face it, if a coaching partner is good at their job, why wouldn’t clients want to sing it from the rooftops.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s certainly a good start and it captures many of the most important questions to ask a prospective coaching partner.

Coaching can have a profound impact on an organization and its people. But only if you have taken the time to find the best coaching partner. Best in terms of service, technology and outcomes.

Source: helloezra.com

Assessments & Analytics People Development

Talent Assessment: Three Ways to Reimagine Your 2021 Talent Development Budget

Talent Assessment: Three Ways to Reimagine Your 2021 Talent Development Budget

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Talent assessments provide detailed insight into your workforce that can help you identify where to make the most impactful investments and where you can save on training and development efforts.

Matthew Such, Ph.D., SVP, Product and Solutions, Global Head of Assessment, LHH

Under normal circumstances, prioritizing training and development needs can be daunting for any HR professional. Undertaking that task amid seismic market disruptions can be nothing short of overwhelming.

The talent development decisions you make now are critical. The current, dynamic business environment is creating an enormous demand for new skills and capabilities. At the same time, organizations are struggling to source and cultivate talent internally. To effectively manage these challenges, HR leaders need data and insights to make smart, informed investments that align with internal strategic objectives and external macro-economic forces.

Investing in the development of your talent is essential. And yet, how much do you know about it?

Your talent not only represents the single largest line item in your operating budget, it’s also the single largest factor that will determine your business’s growth potential. And yet, how much do you really know about your existing talent and what learning opportunities they need to meet the increasing demands on your organization? What you don’t know about your talent today ultimately will hurt you in the future. 

Strategic talent assessment creates objective, actionable insights that help inform targeted investments throughout the talent lifecycle, taking the guessing out of talent and development planning.

Assessment use is not limited to the recruitment and hiring process

While assessments often are associated with the recruitment process, forward-thinking organizations use them to create insights throughout the employment lifecycle. Talent assessment results provide invaluable input into defining, planning, and prioritizing activities around training, development, and hiring that can ultimately help align your talent and business strategies. 

Here are three ways assessments can help you define and prioritize talent development needs in your organization.

1. Reveal strengths and development opportunities in existing talent

If your current method for analyzing development needs is to rely on the opinions of managers and leaders, then it’s time to shift your approach. While this input can be helpful, it also tends to be reactive, biased, and not future-focused. Simply put, it is inappropriate to rely on the gut feeling of managers for informed decisions about broader development needs within your organization. Systematic use of talent assessment yields an objective picture of your workforce that allows you to determine how well aligned it is with the current and future needs of your business. With these insights in hand, you can get the most from each person’s day-to-day performance, prioritize talent development efforts in areas where it is truly needed and avoid spending time and money in areas where you already have substantial strength.

2. Fill key talent gaps

Effectively anticipating and satisfying the demand for new and different skills required to meet business needs is already a mission-critical priority for HR leaders. Talent assessment helps you address this challenge by:

• Identifying future skill gaps within the workforce; 
• Determining whether the organization has enough existing talent to meet future needs, and;
• Highlighting the extent to which external hiring will be required to fill critical gaps.  

If your organization lacks sufficient staff to develop, or if the skills your organization needs do not lend themselves to development efforts, you may be best served to hire from outside the organization. Taking such an approach to quantifying talent through assessment allows you to create long-term strategies to ensure you always know how to find and deploy the right talent, whether it is sourced internally or externally.

3. Identify high-potentials and future-ready leaders

How often have you seen investments in high-potential and leadership programs wasted—or worse—the people you just invested in walk out the door? To get the most out of talent development investments, you must identify the right talent to drive your organization in meeting its near- and long-term business goals. 

Ensuring you identify and develop the right future leaders to drive your business ahead requires understanding the difference between high-performers and high-potentials. High performers are vital to the organization and drive results within their current roles. High potentials, on the other hand, have specific attributes that allow them to advance to more senior leadership roles. Assessments can help identify both high performers and high potentials. More importantly, it will tell you how to make best use of them going forward into the future. 

For example, assessment data allows you to thoughtfully plan how to best leverage your high potentials’ existing critical capabilities and expertise, while identifying development paths for those who may require further training to meet future strategic needs. 

Whether you are feeling uncertain about your talent development plan for next year or just unsure what skills your people have and need, talent assessment will enable you to make confident, evidence-based decisions. 

Talent assessment produces objective evidence about where to make the most impactful talent development investments, where you can save on those efforts, and also, how to quickly find talent who will drive your organization’s success. 

Even if you have started your 2021 talent development plan, adding assessments to the mix can reveal new ways to refine and prioritize needs within that plan and maximize your ability to help drive your organization’s growth and on-going success.

Source: lhh.com

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