Liz's Latest Articles
My mom shared an impactful saying with me when I was in my teens. She said,
“You are the average of the five people with whom you most often associate.”
I don’t remember the specifics of the conversation, but I do know she was subtly telling me to continue to be smart in whom I chose to befriend. I’ve heeded her advice and it’s never let me down. This advice applies to us in the workplace and as leaders too. In the workplace and as leaders, you are the average of the five people with whom you most often spend time, listen to, give your time and energy to, and become associated with. Who are you allowing to influence you, access your time, tap into your energy and wisdom, and impact your reputation and brand?
Who are you allowing to influence you, access your time, tap into your energy and wisdom, and impact your reputation and brand?
If you at all doubt the power of another person’s influence on you just by interacting with them, take a few seconds and visualize various individuals with whom you’ve spent a fair amount of time at work just this week. Who energized you? Who caused you to take a deep calming breath? Who challenged you to think deeper, differently, or more objectively? Who made you laugh? Who surprised you with a skill you hadn’t seen before? Who gave advice that again proved sound? Who gave advice that, once again, was not sound? Who impressed you with the perfect reaction or appropriate response in a tense situation? Who embarrassed you? Who helped you? Who frustrated you or left you feeling taken advantage of or used? Who made you feel good during your time together, and who were you ready to get away from? People you allow into your leadership inner circle have a tremendous impact on your psyche, your attitude, your health, your ability to think clearly and make sound decisions...your ability to lead.
People you allow into your inner circle have a tremendous impact on your psyche, your attitude, your health, your ability to think clearly and make sound decisions...your ability to lead.
The point of this article isn’t to suggest you isolate yourself from colleagues, board members, vendors, or customers who frustrate you. The point is to ensure you have an inner circle of roughly five key people who positively impact your life as a leader. You may have a special someone who loves you and who also understands and supports you in your leadership role. But who else are you intentionally allowing in and keeping in your inner leadership circle?
Intentionally develop your network and leadership inner circle.
Your leadership team may be the source for a key individual or two to include in your inner circle, but your team shouldn’t be your only source. Reach outside your organization to connect with others whom you trust and respect. Who do you want to get to know and learn from? Who understands you, your values, and your work world and is willing to tell you the hard truth? Who are you willing to admit mistakes to and be vulnerable with? Who causes you to think deeper? Who brings new ideas from outside your organization and industry? Who is a voice of reason to help you think through challenging leadership, board, team, or operational issues? Your leadership inner circle may be a combination of senior team members, professional friends, board members, advisors, and mentors. It’s not a group that you bring together for formal gatherings. Instead, it’s a team of individuals you like, trust, respect, and admire and reach out to individually as needs arise. You know who to call with an impromptu question. You know who you can let your guard down and laugh with about the idiocy of a recent team issue. You know who will drop everything and be available if needed. Be smart in developing your inner circle, your leadership network, your key five. They’re people you’re proud to call colleagues and friends because knowing them makes you a better person. But, knowing you makes them better too.
Copyright MMXVIII - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz and her team work with leaders to create focused plans for their organizations' future. Then they work with the leaders to ensure their plans are implemented effectively.
Being able to communicate clearly is a skill essential to any leader. That’s no surprise. Clear hand-off communication is imperative when transferring a strategic initiative to a new project team. It’s a must for business owners and CEOs when articulating strategies for company-wide enhancements. In addition, a 2016 study by Korn Ferry found organizations that were able to achieve a high level of engagement with their employees realized 4.5 times greater revenue growth than those with the lowest-engaged employees. A key factor in engagement is clear communication from leadership. Engaged employees are connected to the company. They understand their roles. They understand what is expected of them. And, they feel as if they’re understood and valued as an individual. So besides simply telling your employees what they need to do and how they fit in, what are you doing to ensure you are communicating with them in ways that resonate with them individually?
A CEO called because after two years in his role, his executive team was performing well, but they weren’t ‘gelling.’ Work was getting done, but at times it seemed random and chaotic. Though collegial and highly qualified, his senior team didn’t work well together, and as a result, the work throughout the organization was disjointed and becoming more siloed. “I’ve used Leadership 360s with prior teams in other organizations, and they’ve proven to be a good tool in identifying where we each need to hone our skills,” he said, “I think they can help my current team too.” I assured him they could. But an assessment alone wasn’t going to address his team’s challenges.
The Vice President of Human Resources called. “I need to create a Strategic Workforce Plan for our company, get our leadership team on-board, teach all managers how to do this, and then implement this thing. How do I create this so it makes sense and doesn’t alienate everyone in the process?” That’s a great question, because the key issue is not “How do I do this?” The key issue is, “How do I get the leadership team on-board with me to design, implement, and use this plan to ensure we have a talented and flexible workforce now and in the future?”
I received a call last week from Trent, a senior manager. The executive team is keenly aware their organization lacks leadership depth and they need to act now. Their managers and ‘high-potentials’ have good technical skills, but are not equipped with the skills needed to effectively lead now, much less manage and strategically lead the organization as they want it to be 3, 5, and 10 years from now. So, they’ve initiated a leadership development program. Sounds great so far right? Yeah, I thought so too...