For most of today’s leaders, their success largely depends on their ability to persuade people, such as employees, other staff members, and even family members, to get things done. In order to be successful, in today’s tough corporate world, you must be proficient in the art of persuasion. You must convince others to take action on your behalf even when you have no formal authority!
Every so often one of my coaching engagements comes to focus on an essential question – one so basic that I have to stop and marvel at its simplicity and clarity. That recently happened. I was in the early stages of working with a CEO who was having problems with his senior management team.
I always take a few minutes at the end of each day to journal. I have found this time is always well spent. First I re-read the entries from the prior week or so – it helps keep things in perspective – to connect with what some Native Americans call the ‘long view’.
Organizations wishing to improve the abilities – and value – of their rising stars often offer them executive coaching. The use of this type of coaching is now fairly wide spread. Coaching programs are no longer only for executives who are ‘problem leaders’. Executive coaching offers an opportunity to leverage leadership talent as well as resources.
Good leadership is always part nature and part nurture. Whether you are aware of it or not, you are continually leading yourself and others. The question is “how good are you at it?” The good news is that, with focus and effort, you can improve your leadership skills and get more out of life. Here are some things you might think about in your effort to become a more effective leader:
Many of my coaching engagements are with CEO’s who are dedicated to improving their abilities and growing into their ever changing and expanding roles. One of the areas which we tend to focus on is the decision-making process. Interestingly, it is actually the pre-decision part which gives most of them problems.
According to many modernist social theorists, questions of identity center on an ‘authentic knowledge’ of the ‘self’ and of the shelves of others. It was generally accepted that there was a unique core within each person which formed the very foundation of who they ‘were’. According to these theories, most of that foundation was laid down during the early or ‘formative’ years.
The years since the 2002 passage of Sarbanes-Oxley have seen a number of positive trends in board structure, management, operation and influence. At the same time, counter trends have highlighted companies which have attempted to maintain the ‘old paradigm’ of business as usual. These attempts have often resulted in conflict between management and the board of directors.
Many companies fail for reasons that have little to do with their core product or service. It is often the afterthoughts or ‘under-thoughts’ that cause failure when success has been looming on the horizon.
There is danger in living on a non-stop endorphin high. In the first place, the human body is simply not engineered for such an existence. But more importantly the human soul requires an alternative to the nonstop, heated rush that such a life entails.
Earl R Smith II, PhD DrSmith@Dr-Smith.com Dr-Smith.com Most behaviors are patterns – recurring tendencies – rather than one-off acts. People tend to do the same thing over and over even though it generates unsatisfactory results. They don’t seem to be able to take the most common sense advice. If hitting yourself in the head with a […]
Earl R Smith II, PhD DrSmith@Dr-Smith.com Dr-Smith.com This article has its roots in a chance conversation with an old friend. He shook his head and wondered why one of his employees kept acting in ways that sabotaged his own interests. It got me to wondering – then asking – then asking some more. This is […]
Much of my coaching practice is focused on helping clients alter behaviors and habits which have been allowed to develop and solidify over months and years. Changing habits is a terribly difficult challenge for most people – the longer the habit has been in place and the more addictive its inducement the more difficult it is to break or alter.
It is a typical conversation which generally comes more than once during the initial months of most of my coaching engagements. The client – generally younger and less experienced than I am – will insist that something is beyond their capability. I will insist that it isn’t. And so I urge them to attempt – and they demure.
Earl R Smith II, PhD DrSmith@Dr-Smith.com Dr-Smith.com The process of mentoring is different than that of coaching. I describe coaching as ‘teaching you how to do something better than you have been doing it.’ Those of you who pursue the sport of golf may understand what I am saying. If you want to get better […]
This is a retelling of a post-modernist nightmare – a journey into the void of virtual relationships that never become real. It is a story about lost possibilities sacrificed upon the shrines of inattention, self-absorption and indifference. The interspersed poem is by Antonio Machado – The Wind, One Brilliant Day.
‘Give a man a match and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.’
If I am faced with the option of mentoring someone who is too cautious or someone who is too rash, I inevitably choose the former. There are a number of reasons for this but the most important is that progress always comes faster when working with a client who is learning to gradually put more pressure on the accelerator.
Earl R Smith II, PhD DrSmith@Dr-Smith.com Dr-Smith.com The other day I was leading a discussion focused on the ways that the digital revolution was impacting relationships. The group of eighteen were evenly divided between those under thirty and those over – with two in the latter group over sixty. About a half hour into the […]
Earl R Smith II, PhD DrSmith@Dr-Smith.com Dr-Smith.com Last week I could not even spell entrepreneur now I are one! One of the traps that self-identified entrepreneurs find themselves in comes as a result of a combination of a misunderstanding of the word entrepreneur and a lack of self-knowledge. I’d like to focus on each in turn. […]
Earl R Smith II, PhD DrSmith@Dr-Smith.com Dr-Smith.com Both strategic and tactical planning and implementation are part science and part art. Like a hammer or a football, the intellectualization of their function and purpose does not make a person adept – let alone effective – in using them. Both require extended experience and careful attention to […]
Earl R Smith II, PhD DrSmith@Dr-Smith.com Dr-Smith.com As the old saw goes ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’. I am often amazed at how much time and polish people spend on their so called ‘elevator speech’ and then how casually they present themselves, their interests and their company during a […]
Earl R Smith II, PhD DrSmith@Dr-Smith.com Dr-Smith.com I’ve recently written a couple of articles focusing on the dynamics of initial meetings. They have drawn a pile of emails – mostly war stories about lost potential and illusions that never became real. Thanks to all of you who took the time to write. A writer’s most […]
Earl R Smith II, PhD DrSmith@Dr-Smith.com Dr-Smith.com A while back I was having drinks with a friend who has been involved in coaching senior executives for several decades. During the course of that conversation he offered an interesting and challenging question: “Why is it that some executives find it so difficult to change behaviors in […]