agent of arcadia

Posts Tagged ‘performance’

So you want to become a leader: here’s how

In Development, Leadership, Performance Management, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Strategy, Team on February 23, 2017 at 1:46 am

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In today’s competitive environment, standing out can actually be the thing that gives you an edge. For instance, if you’re positioning yourself for a leadership role or promotion, It’s important to develop a strategy to consistently demonstrate your personal leadership traits.

To illustrate this point, let’s take a peek into Tim’s profile. Tim is an inspired, hardworking and conscientious high performer. Tim is great at stakeholder meetings and client-facing events. He is also an empathetic listener and hands on team player.

You could say Tim has high potential to be a leader: he’s a HiPo, that is, he has been identified as having the potential, ability, and aspiration for succession to leadership positions within the organization. However, Tim has no management experience, having never officially led a team before. Apart from his own self-confidence and what some of his peers and his manager know, Tim has no concrete data to make a strong case. What’s more, Tim works in a dynamic firm with dozens of others who could possibly be vying for the same role.

So how can Tim progress his career? Tim could start preparing for his performance review conversations by gathering data. You see, future leaders are made long before they are earmarked for success. It comes from your own desire to excel. So what steps do you take to ensure you outshine those vying for that one coveted position?

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Five tips to prepare for a performance review conversation

In Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Performance Management, Strategy on January 16, 2017 at 5:46 am

A photo by Liz Weston. unsplash.com/photos/VWceV6QdwS8

It seems performance review conversations have earned a bad reputation. Many managers may dread them because they seem tedious and laborious, followed by endless amounts of paperwork and administration that need to be completed and filed. At least for another six months or so.

And you, as you sit on the other side of the desk, dread it, too. Perhaps because you can sense how arduous it is for them. So you simply want to get it over and done with. But performance review conversations are not just one-way lectures. After all, they’re conversations, not monologues.

So have you ever wondered how you can proactively make your performance review conversations richer to serve you better?

Entering a performance review conversation having prepared for one has its benefits. By preparing yourself for your performance review conversation, you set yourself up for success in various ways. You work towards ensuring mutual understanding of expectations between you and your manager, ensuring goal alignment between yourself and your role, the department and the business, highlighting your strengths for increased job satisfaction, then identifying opportunities for development and growth to feed self-fulfilment and a sense of achievement.

Whether or not you intend to strive to a leadership status, it pays to approach every performance review conversation with a view to extend and leverage your career. So let’s look at how you can do this.

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How mindfulness makes you a more effective leader

In culture, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Leadership, Philosophy, Positive Thinking on December 6, 2016 at 5:17 am

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According to research conducted by Harvard University, about 47 percent of us spend our waking hours thinking about something other than what we’re doing. What this means is that we are not present or conscious in the moment to fully listen, connect and engage with events, opportunity and people around us; all vital elements to being an effective leader.

The Mind/Body Medical Institute at Harvard University claims that mindfulness enhances the qualities organizations need. Qualities such as increased brain-wave activity, enhanced intuition and better focus. All also vital elements to being an effective leader.

Mindfulness contributes to raising your awareness of self and of those around you. It increases your ability to be mindful of your emotions, reactions and therefore, your behaviors. These are all exemplary qualities to have as a leader.

To be an effective leader, leaders are taught to lead via the three vital pillars of leadership:

  1. Leading from within
  2. Leading by example
  3. Leading others

So what if as a leader, you practice mindfulness? How much more engaging would your leadership presence be? How much more effective and focused would you be as a leader?

A mindful and focused leader is a leader with a strong leadership presence. Someone who can lead better towards his or her vision via a structured business strategy.

Let’s look at how mindfulness can boost each pillar of leadership.

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The value of feedback and coaching conversations

In Communication, culture, Development, Effectiveness, Leadership, Performance Management, Team on August 4, 2016 at 6:12 am

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Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said:

“I think it’s important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”

The beauty of human behaviour is that we are constantly learning. No matter how old we are, or how advanced we think we are, we never actually stop learning. And feedback and coaching conversations are a way in which we can learn. After all, how else are we meant to know if we’ve done something wrong or right and then learn or evolve from it?

But feedback conversations seem to have a negative association. People don’t like giving them, having them, and lastly, receiving them. But why is that? When delivered effectively, feedback conversations can be the catalyst that steers your employees in the right direction, and can be transform your managers into standout leaders.

The first step to positively giving and receiving feedback is to create a culture of feedback. This means that it’s important not only that feedback be given in a timely manner, but that individuals have the courage and permission to elicit feedback.

So what is best practice in feedback and coaching conversations that have an impact on and drive performance? Let’s explore.

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Waste not want not: The art of lean thinking

In Branding, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Leadership, Learning, Performance Management, Personal Branding, Philosophy, Positive Thinking on October 13, 2014 at 2:51 am

Ever heard the phrase a messy desk is a messy mind? Or ever heard a colleague utter the dreaded words: now where is that file? I had it right here. (Rustle rustle) Ahh there it is! Found it!

And surely you’ve noticed how much longer it takes you to find things in a cluttered environment?

It starts with space. Your space defines who you are.

Some view this as a tangible showcase of where you call home. Or perhaps where you work.

The realists. The rationalists. They speak in quantifiable amounts of things you can tick off on a checklist. The house. The garden. The extra room. The office. The desk. These are extensions to their existence. It becomes an external factor.

The dreamers, the free spirits, however, have a slightly different take on this. In their eyes, your space is right where you are at that given moment in time. It is an internal factor. A different philosophy.

Neither is right or wrong.

But no matter what school of thought you live by, lean thinking applies to both when progress and performance is at stake.

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