Is Chaotic Leadership really “a thing”?

The headlines are full of judgments against our current Commander-in-Chief as running a chaotic administration, leading by instinct, and other unflattering terms to describe his management style. Mr. Trump’s response is that, aside from everything being “fine”, he likes being unpredictable, thinks conflict is good, and that he “gets a lot of things done”.

But the White House is not the only workplace where chaos reigns supreme. Leaders from every sector of the economy, from corporations to small churches, fall prey to this management style that, no matter who you are, has similar results. Continue reading “Is Chaotic Leadership really “a thing”?”

Managing Your “Meeting Pouter”

You’re in your monthly strategic meeting when for the umpteenth time, Feng makes a snarky comment to a new suggestion. Everyone either glares at him with annoyance or audibly sighs. Here we go again! Will the boss ever say something to him??

Bad-Meeting-Behavior-1

While it may seem like a simple case of poor work ethic (which it sometimes is), this lack of proper meeting decorum is also a symptom of poor emotional intelligence (EI). Koman and Wolff identify  four overarching clusters of EI skills: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management (Goleman, 2001; Boyatzis, Goleman & Rhee, 1999). The lack of any of the cluster of skills mentioned can present in inappropriate behavior with a damaging impact at your meetings.  I call these resulting behaviors – for simplicity sake – “pouting”.

Categories of “pouting” we may observe at meetings Continue reading “Managing Your “Meeting Pouter””

Coaching Your Executive Team (Silos – Part 2)

team-buildingIn my previous post about breaking down silos  I wrote of the importance of seeing the executive team you are a part of as the priority team (Team #1) over the team you are actually leading.  This comes from Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Advantage .

Expect expressions of sense of loss and concern as you ask your team to make this mental switch. It’s real. The fear is, if the team I manage is no longer my “home team”, who will look after me? Where will my sense of belonging come from?

As the executive team leader you have an obligation to be the best meeting chair/coach/team leader  possible from your level down. Their success as leaders of their own teams will largely depending on how you model your role. Continue reading “Coaching Your Executive Team (Silos – Part 2)”

Breaking Down Silos – Team # 1

team huddle

While still a consultant, for 15 years I was simultaneously part of a pastoral team at a New York City-based Church. In my capacity I managed a few ministry departments over the years. I’ve always enjoyed leading my ministry teams but – depending on the year and how things were going – I often found myself being protective of my department, sometimes at the expense of prioritizing the larger pastoral team of which I was a member. I found myself battling for volunteers, “air time”for Sunday morning announcements, recognition for my team and for time to present our vision at staff meeings. Sadly, I wasn’t the only one who found themselves in this predicament.

Sadder still, whether I am consulting with a church, a municipality or a private company the same thing is rampant. Executive team members jockeying for attention, resources and recognition, often at the expense of unity.

Yet this could all be avoided, along with the dreaded “silos” between departments, if we observed this simple but profound principle outlined by business author Patrick Lencioni (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team ; The Advantage; Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything).

Continue reading “Breaking Down Silos – Team # 1”

A Tiger in the Forest – Taming Your Team-Busting Employee

Thomas Friedman in  Friedman’s Fables tells the tale of “The Friendly Forest” , a place where all of the animals live happily together until a new neighbor, a ferocious tiger, moves in. The very presence of the tiger disrupts the calm, peaceful atmosphere, especially for the lamb that seems to be the object of the Tiger’s growling obsession. The frightened lamb is advised by his friends not to leave the forest just because of one new inhabitant; he’s counseled that ‘the tiger is just being a tiger – that’s just how they behave’. Perhaps the lamb is being too sensitive. In fact, perhaps the lamb, itself, is contributing tho the aggressiveness of the tiger!tiger-emerald-forest-koyeq_085123 Perhaps the Lamb needs to give concessions to the tiger and accept his behaviors. Meanwhile the stalking continues until finally someone had the wisdom to say, “This is ridiculous. You don’t try to make the lamb and tiger communicate better. If you want them to coexist in the same forest you have to cage the bloody tiger!”.

And so it is in business when one or more employees, by their attitudes or behaviors, poison the work environment, demotivating the whole department. And haven’t we all been like the other animals in the forest at one time or another, wishing someone would just cage (or shoot) that tiger?

What are some of the reasons we allow such behavior to continue?

Continue reading “A Tiger in the Forest – Taming Your Team-Busting Employee”