Category Archives: Manage to Lead

Managed to Lead posts are organized into the categories below and are about what can be managed in order to be a better leader. There is a category for each of seven actions motivated by seven simple truths about leaders and organizations which, if followed, can help you change the world.

Ten Steps to Drive Change from the Inside

If you are frustrated by an organization resistant to embracing a change you believe is right, consider using the following steps as a road map to seeing your ideas through to reality:

Get Clear.

Write-up and share your point of view. While what you have in mind may seem clear to you, it likely is not yet to others. Writing about what you want to happen forces you to work out the logical progression of thought and to fill in the details to tell the story in a way others can understand. Share what you write with others to test for clarity and ask for help to make it clearer.

Focus on value.

Emphasize the business value your change would generate in terms others, especially those in positions of authority, can understand and appreciate.

Set the context for change.

Use the change framework to explain how what you have in mind to change exists today, why it needs to change, how it will be in the future, what must be done to get from here to there, and what will be difficult about effecting the change.

Continue reading Ten Steps to Drive Change from the Inside

How Leaders Learn From Those With a Stake in Their Success

Leaders Used to Rule Their Followers

A follower makes a leader. The relationship between leader and followers (i.e., the way the connection between leader and follower works, not just the state of being leader and follower) has changed. Leaders used to command-and-control workers, who were seen to be basically lazy, having to be told exactly what to do, and motivated only by security and money. Leaders had top-down authority and a tight rein on workers who could not be trusted to do good work without control.

A more democratic model eventually emerged. Workers were seen as responsible and motivated to do a good job, even without tight controls, punishment, and reward. This led to a less rigid leader-follower relationship, one more focused on creating happier, productive workers. The tools for doing that, however, have not been clear.

market-lead-position

Followers Now Enlighten Their Leaders

There is now even more change in how leaders and followers relate. Specifically, we see more emphasis on a leader’s capacity to build and sustain an inclusive and high-trust relationship with a loyal, capable, and motivated followership. Continue reading How Leaders Learn From Those With a Stake in Their Success

3 Levels of Human Identity Can Be Used to Build Relationships Across Difference

The business case for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-oppression (DEIA) programs in organizations is no longer being built…it has arrived. Investors, employees, and customers are making clear to leaders that DEIA is now critical to their bottom line and that it will be so forevermore.

Consequently, leaders must learn to integrate cross-cultural skills and competencies into all levels of the system.

Education and change management plans that help leaders, managers, and employees navigate their differences and use them to achieve better business results are important and, thankfully, becoming more available.

To start, it helps to have common language and frameworks that make it possible to understand the complexities of communication dynamics posed by working across social group identities such as age, ability, gender, culture, class, race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.

In her article Alliances Across Difference: Useful strategies for building effective relationships across difference, Amber Mayes does us all a tremendous service by laying out two foundational concepts to get us started:

  • Levels of Human Identity
  • Social Power and Group Dynamics

Amber developed and uses these concepts with leaders across sectors, industries, and geographies to resolve conflict and unleash the power of diversity in organizations for 15+ years in her role as a consultant to leaders, teams, and organizations. Continue reading 3 Levels of Human Identity Can Be Used to Build Relationships Across Difference

Board Power! A Guide to Improve Board Performance

CEOs often fall into the trap of orchestrating meetings with their Board of Directors to:

  • Show how great they are and how well things are going (whether they really are or not!).

  • Avoid leaving the meeting with more to do than when it started.

A great deal of value can be derived from working with a board, but it takes a concerted effort to build, cultivate, prepare for, and work with individual board members and the board as a whole for that potential to be realized. Efforts to build a high-performing board are well-spent.

Continue reading Board Power! A Guide to Improve Board Performance

What makes an exceptional WWW

The purpose of a business is to solve a problem for a customer…which drives every core leadership team to align on its WWW: that is, on WHAT their organization provides, WHO decides to buy their service or product, and WHY the buyer chooses them to buy it from.

With team alignment leaders can work to improve their WWW to set direction, perform better, and grow faster. To so do, it helps to know what distinguishes a good WWW from a great one, and what it takes to have one that is exceptional.

Continue reading What makes an exceptional WWW