Discover the Rare Leader.

As with most blogs, you will find our most recent posting at the top in your current view.
On your first visit, begin with "What is the Rare Leader".
Reading subsequent postings under the archive section will allow you to "catch up" on the story of the Rare Leader.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

So...You’re Allowed To Be A Jerk?

My Boss is a jerk.  I really don’t like my Boss.  What gives him the right to treat me this way?  She has a bad day and I suffer.   Ok, enough already.    Do you know that’s what they really say?  Do you know they are talking about you?   So... you’re allowed to be a jerk, just because you’re the boss? 
I get concerned when I hear these pronouncements.  After I follow up on the statements I hear the same excuses from these bosses.  They say; I have so much stress.  They have no clue what it’s really like in this office.  With this economy and business challenges it’s not easy being the boss.  I should just fire them all.
You know, they might be right.  As Will Ferrell said in his portrayal of an American President, “This presidenting is really hard”.  But that is not an excuse.  When the going gets really tough, it is not time to crawl into a hole and make autocratic decisions, ignoring your employees and your leadership team.  When you leave those collaborative times of Peace, and find yourself in the decisive times of War, it still calls for you to be a good leader of others, in addition to yourself.  
If you change your style because the conditions demand it, let people know the rules of engagement have changed.  If being decisive requires you to make immediate decisions, you still have the responsibility to communicate the state of business, and the impact on your organization.  
Emotional Stability in a Rare Leader™ is exemplified by the “boss” who can alter their leadership style as conditions dictate.  Emotional Stability in a Rare Leader™ is bookmarked by increased targeted communications indicating the style and rules of leadership have changed.  Emotional Stability in a Rare Leader™ is noticed by others when the Integrity of Character never falters when times are tough.  Emotional Stability in a Rare Leader™ shines through, and creates a Charisma which in turn develops an even stronger following when employees need direction.
One of my clients found himself faced with pretty dire conditions as the market conditions hit his company even harder than expected.  Even though they planned for a downturn, and applied their tactical plan, revenues tumbled, and the news was bad.  But my client realized the bad news was not a secret.  Employees throughout the company now feared the worst.  It wasn’t merely about jobs anymore, everyone knew it was about company survival.  
Rather than sit in his office and dictate office closings, job eliminations, and deeper expense cuts, this president went on the offensive.  Rather than put on a happy face and try to tell his close supporters that they would weather the storm, he told the truth.  He told the truth to everyone.  He visited every office and held town meetings.  He listened.   He spoke openly about the challenges facing everyone.  But he also spoke bravely about the tough decisions he was making every day.  He laid out a very specific plan of the limited options to create survival.  
The groundswell of support grew as word spread about the Character,  Charisma, Decisiveness, and Emotional Stability of their leader.  We may need to wait another 12 -18 months as the economic recovery slowly continues to see if they survive.  But what we know immediately, is that these employees want to believe in their Leader.  These employees want to follow their Leader.  Even though times of Peace have been left far behind, the new style of leadership in this time of War has been clearly communicated, and employees have accepted the challenge to follow.
Don’t be a Jerk...Become a Rare Leader™.
  1. Who do you turn to when times get tough?
  2. What do you do when you find plans are not working?
  3. Where is your comfort zone during times of War?
  4. When will you begin to communicate realities of the future?
  5. How will you lead your employees when the going gets tough?
If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.

Monday, October 11, 2010

War and Peace...or is it Peace and War

If you are looking for the latest discussion of Napoleon, Nicholas Rostov, Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, Pierre Bezukhov, Natasha Rostov, or Princess Helene, you’ve googled the wrong War and Peace.  Tolstoy needed four volumes to tell the of the disastrous 1812 Russian invasion as the backdrop for the tangled personal lives of two aristocratic families.  
We’ll identify the qualities and behaviors of a Rare Leader™ during Times Of Peace, and also during Times Of War, in a more abbreviated fashion.  So, why not read on.
Beginning in the later 1980’s, I realize I had switched my learning emphasis from technical topics such as labor negotiation strategies, self funded underwriting of medical benefit plans, or regulations relative to the financial securities industry.  My study interests shifted towards a discovery of why people are successful, and more specifically, who leads people to success...and how? 
We were coming off an explosion of interest in China.  Venture capitalism, technology, and restructuring the corporation were the rage.  But there was not really a focus on the competencies of leadership.  Historically, Leadership had grown out of the top producer being awarded from great achievements in sales, engineering, or finance with a promotion to the coveted corner office.  
Leadership was ill defined, and success in the roaring 90’s came a bit easier when the economy and business was good.  These Leaders were leading in Times Of Peace.  
I have read many books on Leadership.  Perhaps too many.  Early on, theories of Collaborative Leadership emerged, encouraging skills and attributes for cross boundary success.    Interpersonal connections were replacing formal systems of process. After all, who would argue against the common theory of “two heads are better than one”?  
When  the economy was strong, business was going well, and growth came as a natural progression, collaborative Leadership became a hallmark of success.  Transparency, open door policies, long term strategic planning, delegation, team building and even more theories expounded upon in the leading business books, encouraged this style of collaborative open decision making while in Times Of Peace.
Hello Recession...The times are a changing.  More, and more I see successful organizations able to react tactically, as they continue to find new avenues of success.  But with the problem solving process shortened, and economic challenges demanding fast decisive decisions, Leaders find themselves altering their behaviors of leading others.  
Sometimes, Leaders simply have to make decisions on their own.  This does not encourage a fall back to closed door meetings with secret agendas.  But it does encourage more strategic preparedness and interaction between key employees helping to prepare their Leader to be more decisive on behalf of the Team in these Times Of War.  Preparation, open discussions, careful research, communication, and support of individual decisions have become the bugle of a new call to arms.
A new competency of leadership has emerged.  The Rare Leader™ who has balance, poise, and ability to maintain composure through ups and downs, and  knows when to apply intellectual intelligence and maturity can Lead in times of both War and Peace.  The Rare Leader™ can not only differentiate between the two, but has the ability to draw upon both skill sets when needed, to Lead others.
Do you have this level of Emotional Stability as a Leader?
  1. Who do you know that can lead effectively in times of both War and Peace?
  2. What can you do to build your competencies to lead to during both Peace and in these times of War?
  3. Where do you see success from Leadership in times of War?
  4. When will you switch your style of leadership for these times of War?
  5. How do you switch from the attributes of leadership during peace, to the skills needed to lead in these times of War?
If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.