Posts

Trigger Control?

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My daughter claims to be triggered by the term “triggered”. It’s probably because her little brother likes to talk about triggers. Other people's, as well as his own.  What is a behavioral trigger? Put simply, Marshall Goldsmith says (in his book  Triggers ), the behavioral verb “trigger” is any stimulus that impacts our behavior. My kids, like adults, sometimes think a trigger is permission for contraindicated behavior. (“They made me be critical.”) What if you could control your environment so it triggered your most desired behavior and steered you toward success? Instead of blocking us from our goals, the environment would propel us towards them. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? It also sounds far-fetched. It is not. To achieve “control” of the environment so that it triggers our most desired behavior, we can look at six distinctions that will help improve our understanding of how triggers influence our behavior. A trigger can be  direct or indirect . Direct triggers are stimuli that i

The "One//Zero" Human Code?

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I don't get computer coding whatsoever. Somehow we go from simple 1's and 0's, to elaborate algorithms and machine learning. However, I do work with a lot of leaders who started out writing code. Many of them, like me, find a lot of value using the  SCARF model . In this  simple picture of the basic model , you'll notice the binary, one and zero constraints with the "away/threat" and "toward/reward" motivators. As depicted, the red "away/threat" arrow is much more prominent than the green "toward/reward" side. This is because humans are (necessary for survival) more adept at seeing and responding to threats. It's the inherent and root human negative bias. The 5 components of SCARF are: Status  – the relative importance to others Certainty  – the ability to predict the future Autonomy  – the sense of control over events Relatedness  – the sense of safety with others Fairness  – the perception of fair exchanges The basic premise

What Does Self-Awareness Got To Do With It?

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Well,  how self-aware are you?  I wrote about this in my last post,  here .  Anyone can allow emotions to override discernment or rational thinking. But when this happens to us as leaders, our decision making and solution generation faculties get compromised. Have you ever seen emotions get the best of a leader? I have, and unfortunate things happen. With self-awareness, this can be avoided. Self-awareness is a subset of  emotional intelligence  (EI or EQ), the ability to understand and manage emotions to maximize the effectiveness of relationships, behavior and decision making.  Although emotions can range from very positive to very negative, negative emotions— including anger, contempt, disgust, guilt, fear, and nervousness —typically interfere with effective leadership and cause unfortunate aftereffects.  To assess your emotional tendencies, note and identify feelings and emotions, primarily during moments of stress or trial. Make a habit of stepping back to identify the emotion of

Being Stable

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As leaders, we face a variety of pressures and expectations. Today’s corporate environment brings unprecedented challenges. There are as many responses to these pressures as do the personalities  of the leaders behind them. Ineffective or (worse) toxic cultures are a result of leaders who respond to trials in detrimental ways. Consistently effective management requires a high inner stability, making emotional health  one of the most critical attributes we can bring as leaders who  keep organizations running well. Studies and statistics tell us the woes of employees dealing with leaders who make life difficult. The rates of disengagement and turnover attest, in part, to how leaders can make work an undesirable experience. The new front of hybrid work, ups the level. Leaders who cause cultures to have low morale, disunity or distrust are likely to have deficient emotional health. Often this condition stresses the emotional health of everyone. One saying I learned since the pandemic is, &
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  What is your standard of integrity ? It’s an important question to answer when you’re establishing a culture of trust.    Leaders are standard-bearers who establish the basic tenets of integrity throughout their organizations. They must clearly communicate four key values and expectations: truthfulness, honesty, respectfulness and positivity. Truthfulness Speaking the truth is challenging in toxic environments where messengers get shot. It may be tempting to ignore reality and tell people what they want to hear, notes management consultant Jim Dougherty in The Best Way for New Leaders to Build Trust (Harvard Business Review, December 13, 2013). Leaders must nonetheless deliver bad news when it’s warranted—and demand honorable behavior from those who receive it. People sense less risk when an organization’s culture respects those who tell the truth, even when it hurts. When leaders address mistakes constructively and avoid embarrassing their staff, there’s no need to lie or stretch
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  As solutions are attempted, ups and downs will occur. Leaders often take their people into new territory. Things don’t always follow the plan. In fact, the enduring and direct wisdom of Mike Tyson says that, "Everybody has a plan until you get punched in the face." According to Ryan Holiday, in The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumphs , defeating setbacks requires humility, resilience and flexibility from the leader. This is manifested in the inner will. By demonstrating this inner will, you will inspire others to apply themselves until the setback is overcome. Encourage. Reinforce. The things most worth doing are difficult, and difficult things take time. Prompt everyone to be determined not to give in or give up. Perseverance and determination are the will to win. HP’s purchase into touch screen consumer products offered them a solid opportunity amongst the top competitors. But underdeveloped hardware, software and relationships with carri

Unlocking Resilience

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How effective are you in overcoming adversity?  The pandemic has brought resilience to the forefront for many of us. Responses to setbacks or crises not only test leadership character, they define it. Your reaction in times of adversity reveals your leadership effectiveness. Some difficulties are devastating. Challenges can be compounded by leadership responses. Experience is the real training ground for adversity leadership. A leader who doesn’t effectively deal with a trial will succumb to it. The rest of the organization won’t be far behind. As leaders can we might not be able to prevent crisis, but we can change the impact. Diffusing setbacks helps make subsequent crises more manageable, and it makes us stronger as leaders. We can learn to bounce back better by using simple, logical steps to make their way through each difficulty. With the right approach, setbacks can provide advantages that would not have been possible otherwise. Leaders with these skills will w