M&A Emerging Leaders Symposium in NY

With David Fergusson, President of the M&A Advisor

Just returned from presenting at the M&A Emerging Leaders Symposium in NY on Personal Branding. The attendees were at various points in their careers, but all were interested in enhancing their Personal Brand and creating stronger organizations.

The Seventh Deadly Sin of Leadership: Keeping Your Door Always Open or Always Shut

In working with leaders today, two distinct trends have developed:

Do you find yourself doing your work before 8AM or after 6PM? Are you a leader whose door is always open?

As a leader you want people to feel they have access to you. You do not want your direct reports to feel that your work is more important than theirs. In the past you have worked for leaders who were always in a meeting or too busy to meet with you and you felt frustrated. You want your staff to be able to count on you when they need you.

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The Sixth Deadly Sin of Leadership: Winning the Popularity Contest

Has winning the popularity contest ever comprised your ability to lead? All of us have a need to be liked. This is what makes us human and connects us to others. However, sometimes your need to be liked interferes with your need to be the leader.

This is particularly true when you have been promoted from a group of your peers to the leader of the group. You enjoyed good relationships with your colleagues and you want that to continue as the leader. You are concerned about “hurting anyone’s feelings” or using your power to get results.

There can be a wave of resistance from former colleagues. Some of them may have interviewed for the job that you got and are wondering why you got it and they didn’t. Although they tell you they are happy for you, they take a wait and see approach to their work. This presents an even bigger dilemma as you had excellent relationships until you became the boss.

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The Fifth Deadly Sin of Leadership: Not Building a Trusting Environment

What leads us to trust one another? We know that trust is a basic ingredient in every relationship, both business and personal. When you assume a leadership position, your staff wants to know that you have their best interest at heart and you want to know they are going to do what they say.

Your boss is expecting you to achieve results and manage your responsibilities. Your staff is watching to see if you will keep your commitments to them. Your peers are watching to see if you are the right person for the job. Often, a slight off-handed comment can be taken literally and set actions and expectations in motion. I worked with a team leader who could not understand why his team did not seem to trust him. He thought he was doing all the right things; holding team building sessions, having informal lunches and conducting “town meetings” to see what was on people’s minds. During a team building event, he made some off-handed comments about changes he was thinking of implementing. He did not remember making these comments, but his team did and believed several things would change. When nothing happened, his team questioned his sincerity and honesty. It took the better part of a year for the leader to rebuild trust.

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The Fourth Deadly Sin of Leadership: Not Delegating Work

Have you often felt that you are doing your job and your direct reports jobs? You tell yourself you are really the only one who can complete the task quickly and efficiently. When you have more time you will train your staff. Sadly, this never seems to happen. As a leader you know you should delegate more but you do not.

What makes you hesitant to delegate? Fear that a staff member will not do it your way? Fear that they might do it better than you? Fear that you will not be seen as the Subject Matter Expert? Do you secretly love having your hands in the work.

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The Third Deadly Sin of Leadership: Not Providing Timely Feedback

Often times as a leader, you neglect to provide good and timely feedback to your subordinates, peers and colleagues. It is something you know you should do, but it gets pushed down on your priority list as you deal with the crisis of the moment. As a leader you spend a good deal of time measuring and reviewing information to understand all the factors that impact your business. You determine specific quantifiable data and measure against that data. But when it comes to giving specific and timely feedback, you do not engage in the same rigorous practices.

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The Second Deadly Sin of Leadership: Not Asking for Help

As you assume higher levels of leadership, there is always a lot to learn and not enough time to figure everything out perfectly. You rarely ask for the help you need. Instead you spend a lot of time trying to figure out what you should be doing, how you should be achieving results and hope you get it right the first time.

There is an inherent assumption that if you are in the position, you should possess all the necessary skills. Many of the leaders with whom I have worked say they do not ask for help because they do not want their manager to think they are incompetent. I have coached many senior executives who spent a lot of time worrying about what their boss would think if they asked for help. One coachee said, “I do not want to give my boss any reason to think he made a bad decision by putting me in this position. I will figure it out even if it kills me!”

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Leadership

If you are like most leaders you have too much work to do and not enough time to do it. You are under-resourced and overwhelmed. The sheer pace of work is exhausting and you are connected 24/7 via the internet and other electronic media. One of your key challenges is achieving the required results while simultaneously coaching and developing your people.

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Extraordinary Leaders

  • Does your company develop Extraordinary Leaders?
  • Do the leaders in your organization seem to be overwhelmed?
  • Have you created an environment where people can do their best work and deliver top results?

Today’s global marketplace has created a highly competitive business environment. It is critical to distinguish your company from the rest. What defines an extraordinary leader, and what do you need to do to become one?

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