One of the many reasons that I enjoy my daily visit to the local coffee shop is the invariable smile raised by reading the huge blackboard calendar which hangs on the wall next to where I wait for my medium decaff skinny latte (I know, why do I bother? To many people this is not real coffee at all…) . It tells me whose day it – which group or characteristic is being celebrated and why. My favourite so far was on a day on which I was running a team workshop exploring different personality types. It happened to be ‘Peculiar People day’ – of course, whilst we share personality traits, we are also all unique and so this was a perfect opening message to convey – but of course, only when explained properly!
I saw a blog recently citing a survey done a few years ago, summarising 18 warning signs that should prompt us to become better managers*. I wasn’t at all surprised to read that having a terrible boss affects your whole life – not just the time you spend at work. It’s called a spill-over effect and it’s an often cited saying that ‘people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers’. On the other hand, an effective manager/leader enables others to thrive and helps to bring out the best in you. So what, I wonder as we reflect at the end of this year, would YOUR team say about you?
As I read through these warning signs, so many resonated with the behaviours that our research tells us about what great leaders need to survive and thrive in this world of rapid change, complexity and what feels like ever-greater chaos. The well-known VUCA acronym – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous – has never felt so appropriate as we are reminded daily of rising tensions between the US and North Korea, Brexit negotiations and the 10th anniversary of the credit crunch. What emerged from our research and continues to be validated through our practice and on-going research is the robustness of our LIVED model – five dimensions, each critical for effective leadership and management practice which forms the basis of both assessment and development tools to measure and support individual, team and organisational success. Here’s a flavour of what I recognised in relation to each of the LIVED dimensions:
- Not giving others a chance to grow and develop – a key aspect of the Learning dimension is focused on our responsibility as leaders and managers to create and grow a culture for continued personal, team and organisational learning
- Not wanting to hear others’ viewpoints – whilst often the buck in decision making stops with us, enabling good decision making through sound analysis and taking a strategic perspective is something that team members can and should be encouraged to do and is at the heart of the Intellect dimension.
- You have favourites – valuing the contributions that all can make to a team is at the heart of many individual and organisation’s codes of ethics. The Values dimension explores how we should engage others’ hearts and minds, be true to our own values and exercise authentic leadership.
- Throwing tantrums – the Emotions dimension is partly about how we recognise and effectively manage our own and others’ emotions.
- Being a micro-manager – the Drive dimension is all about getting things done, often through others and communicating your passion for delivering a great job.
As we wrap up 2017, many of us reflect on the year at work, with our minds full of good intentions to bring back to work in January. So, why not also resolve to get LIVED-fit in the new year? If you know you’re not LIVED-fit, why not commit to undertaking a LIVED-fitness assessment, eg through the LIVED 360 feedback questionnaire, designed to give insight into the 5 LIVED dimensions and their constituent 15 elements? Or maybe signing-up to a more in-depth LIVEDlite or full LIVED assessment? And for those already well-aware of the warning signs highlighted in the article, there’s a ready designed development programme that can be adapted to suit perfectly your business and organisational context. Give us a call to find out more.
And good luck with your LIVED mindset….
Author: Karen West