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Work of leaders quotes


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Quotes from The Work of Leaders: How Vision, Alignment, and Execution Will Change the Way You Lead. Use in leadership development programs and the Everything DiSC Work of Leaders profile.

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Work of leaders quotes

  1. 1. Work of Leaders quotes Brought to you by …
  2. 2. The Work of LeadersThe Work of Leaders: How Vision, Alignment, and Execution Will Change the Way You Lead Quotes in these slides are from this book unless otherwise noted. Use these quotes to encourage discussion. Agree, disagree, share examples, discuss your reactions with them.
  3. 3. "We tend to think that what matters is having outstanding leadership at the senior level. But great leadership at the top doesn't amount to much if you don't have exceptional leadership at the unit level. That's where great things get done.“ The Re-Education of Jim Collins, Inc.
  4. 4. Work of Leaders model “…leaders have three fundamental responsibilities: They craft a vision, they build alignment, and they champion execution.”
  5. 5. Work of Leaders model Everything DiSC Work of Leaders
  6. 6. VISIONWork of LeadersImagining an improved future state the group will make a reality
  7. 7. “Experienced leaders didn't say that vision was just critical to theirwork... . They said vision is critical to everyleader's work.”
  8. 8. “A powerful vision can help everyone understand how whatever you do is differentiated from what your competitors do.”
  9. 9. “If you've ever been part of an energized team, whether around a conference room table or on a playing field, you know the feeling of pulling together to reach a common goal: suddenly everyone's work becomes essential and meaningful.”
  10. 10. “Organizations intent on building shared visions continually encourage members to develop their personal visions. If people don’t have their own vision, all they can do is sign up for someone else’s.” --Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline.
  11. 11. VISIONExploration Work of Leaders
  12. 12. “Remaining open doesn't mean you're indecisive. It's about making a conscious decision to invest time in exploration. It's not that you can't make up your mind——it's about not making a decision too early.”
  13. 13. “Give yourself permission to set aside specific time to let your mind wander, to think about the possibilities.”
  14. 14. “Don't reject an idea just because you aren't sure how it will be implemented.”
  15. 15. “This is the single most requested behavior change for leaders –- ‘be more active about finding new opportunities.’”
  16. 16. “Talk to your customers. Talk to your customer's customers. Talk to other teams in other departments. Talk to vendors.”
  17. 17. VISIONBoldnessWork of Leaders
  18. 18. “... the effective leader understands that a disruption to stability is sometimes necessary for growth (or even survival).”
  19. 19. “If a leader is not able to muster an inner spirit of boldness, it limits his ability to move forward.”
  20. 20. “Only a fraction of the leaders we’ve studied describe themselves as highly adventurous. Meanwhile, ‘Do more to help us stretch the boundaries’ is one of the most common requests we hear people give their leaders.”
  21. 21. “If the idea really is powerful, analysis and ingenuity can sometimes turn the impractical into: 'You know, we might actually be able to do this.' That realization, however, is never going to come to light if the leader doesn't have the strength to introduce it.”
  22. 22. “Remember that speaking out with a bold idea doesn’t necessarily have to be done impulsively or on the spur of the moment. …By pitching it informally, you’ll gain a sense of how people are going to react and the opportunity to polish your delivery.”
  23. 23. VISIONTesting assumptions Work of Leaders
  24. 24. “By understanding as much as possible about your vision, you’ll be able to anticipate the potential reactions and challenges. You can’t deal with problems you don’t know about.”
  25. 25. “Seeking counsel is about inviting people whose skills and knowledge you respect into the process. This is your chance to try out your vision while the stakes are still low…. It isn’t asking someone for approval.”
  26. 26. “There's no reason to limit yourself to consulting with your co-workers. Consider other people you know who might have fresh perspectives that could be useful in refining your ideas, especially those closest to your customers.”
  27. 27. “But in the end, the leader has to apply judgment, asking herself how bold to be and how much to listen to critics and naysayers.”
  28. 28. ALIGNMENT Work of LeadersEveryone in the group understands and commits to the direction.
  29. 29. “Building alignment is the logical next stage after crafting a vision. Building alignment is the act of gaining buy-in for your vision and it's absolutely critical in moving from imagination to reality.”
  30. 30. “Our research shows that more than half of leaders report little or no training or guidance in the practice of creating alignment. In fact, only 47 percent report having a clear understanding of what 'building alignment' even means in the context of leadership.”
  31. 31. “Effective leaders also understand that alignment is not something to check off a to-do list. Alignment is a dynamic, ongoing process that requires continual monitoring and realigning as conditions and needs change.”
  32. 32. “True alignment changes the way team members view their actions; they embrace team decisions and organizational actions as if they were their own.”
  33. 33. “The most effective leaders make sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing and why. Unfortunately, one in three leaders tell us they spend little to no time planning how they will achieve alignment.”
  34. 34. “When both rational and emotional needs are met, when leaders reach the head and heart, true alignment goes beyond enthusiasm, beyond agreement, beyond understanding goals.”
  35. 35. ALIGNMENTClarity Work of Leaders
  36. 36. “Our research suggests that leaders often overlook communicating what is obvious and intuitive to them, but can seem like a mystery to their followers.”
  37. 37. “But if you're able to give a simple reason for a change or new plan, people should be able to follow your logic and reach the same conclusions. Usually, the more unpopular or demanding a change is, the more important it is to give people a solid reason.”
  38. 38. “If people aren't given explanations in a straightforward manner, they'll often unintentionally make them up. …The solution? Be proactive. Over- clarify and over-communicate when the situation calls for it.”
  39. 39. “But there is no easy way out if you want the benefits of clarity working for you. You have to take time to structure your message.”
  40. 40. ALIGNMENTDialogue Work of Leaders
  41. 41. “Encouraging dialogue within organizations and teams is essential to gaining and maintaining buy-in; it is also an aspect of building alignment that some leaders fear the most.”
  42. 42. “We asked more than 16,000 people to tell us about the leaders they enjoy working with most. The leaders who consistently rose to the top were those who genuinely listen to other people and take others' input and ideas seriously.”
  43. 43. “But results-oriented leaders are often those who struggle the most with the receptivity needed to gain alignment. It’s really hard to be challenging and receptive at the same time.”
  44. 44. “When leaders encourage (or even reward) vulnerability, people can express their true doubts and concerns. They don't need to worry about how they'll be perceived. And …they don't have to worry about tap dancing around the leader's ego.”
  45. 45. “While leadership involves leading a group or organization, gaining buy-in is sometimes best done at the individual level.”
  46. 46. “Actively consider whether people are simply telling you what you want to hear. In such cases, the result will be compliance but not commitment.”
  47. 47. ALIGNMENTInspiration Work of Leaders
  48. 48. “This image of a leader inspiring a team is almost synonymous with leadership. And yet, our research suggests that this is one of the areas leaders neglect the most.”
  49. 49. “If you have a handle on why your work is important, you’re halfway there. The next step is putting it into words and sharing a sense of purpose with the group.”
  50. 50. “It’s part of your job as a leader to express belief in the eventual outcome, to transmit that sense of importance.”
  51. 51. “If you come across as cynical, unsure, or pessimistic, it will be mirrored by the group.”
  52. 52. “Giving positive feedback is reactive, but giving encouragement is proactive. …And by giving this sort of support up-front, people will be more likely to feel like they matter and align with the vision.”
  53. 53. “…consider adding a rallying cry, built on your common aspiration. You can think of this as a marketing slogan that you use internally.”
  54. 54. “Each driver of alignment——clarity, dialogue, and inspiration–—is about connecting with your team. Clarity leads to understanding. Dialogue facilitates involvement and ownership. Inspiration promotes emotional commitment.”
  55. 55. EXECUTION Work of Leaders Conditions are present for the imagined future to be turned into reality.
  56. 56. “Support and advocacy from a leader confirms the vision is not just talk, not just aspiration, and is something that can really be done, something that is within reach.”
  57. 57. “When a leader champions execution, he makes sure that a priority is placed on developing strategies and is fully present in the process.”
  58. 58. “Without a champion to create an environment that supports this sense of achievement, people may still complete tasks, but they may become disengaged, resentful, or lack any fulfillment beyond collecting a paycheck.”
  59. 59. EXECUTIONMomentumWork of Leaders
  60. 60. “With momentum, the focus isn’t on the pain of what people are doing, but on the satisfaction that the eventual outcome will bring.”
  61. 61. “…inexperienced leaders may find it more difficult to drive people to push themselves harder. Experienced leaders not only know this is part of their jobs, but they’ve grown much more comfortable playing this role in the group.”
  62. 62. “While practicing what you preach is always the right thing to do, it’s really not optional in driving momentum. It’s unrealistic to expect that followers will move faster or push harder than their leaders do.”
  63. 63. “Help people see taking on new initiatives as part of their jobs. … And most important, if someone has an idea for a change, take it seriously.”
  64. 64. EXECUTIONStructure Work of Leaders
  65. 65. “…details can’t be put on hold forever. By focusing on the planning process, the leader assures there is time to bring them to the forefront and to give these details deliberate attention.”
  66. 66. “Regardless of who takes on the brunt of the work of creating the plan or the level of detail that it contains, what’s important is that the plan provide a sufficient structure for the work at hand.”
  67. 67. “Creating a realistic plan can be complicated and messy, and it takes time. As a leader, it’s important to stay plugged in to the planning process so you can provide the resources and time needed to allow this messiness to be worked out.”
  68. 68. “First, create an environment in which there is consistent and timely communication across functions.”
  69. 69. “Commit your team to deadlines related to external events, for example, a major conference or the end of the fiscal year. An external commitment is always harder to break—-someone else is waiting, counting on you.”
  70. 70. EXECUTIONFeedback Work of Leaders
  71. 71. “Feedback requires you as a leader to be involved. You must get your hands dirty and really understand what’s going on in the trenches. … Leaders, particularly those at the top, often fail to keep their fingers on the pulse of their organizations.”
  72. 72. “Leaders are more than twice as likely to see themselves as very good at ‘giving praise’ as they are at ‘addressing problems.’”
  73. 73. “As the leader, you don’t blame people or point fingers, but you also don’t sweep problems under the rug—-you surface them so they can be solved.”
  74. 74. “You're the role model who demonstrates there is nobility to acknowledging my mistakes and growing from them.”
  75. 75. “The leaders who are able to use praise to genuinely transform their groups actually experience a deep, heartfelt appreciation for the people they lead. When you feel this way, you don’t need reminders to give praise.”
  76. 76. “Complimenting people is important, but how it happens should be personal and fit the accomplishment. Furthermore, be sure to go beyond the simple 'good job.' Be specific and paint a picture of the difference the person is making.”
  77. 77. Work of Leaders model Everything DiSC Work of Leaders
  78. 78. Everything DiSCWork of Leaders Profile Exam your own preferred leadership style. Then dig into behaviors that contribute to being successful at leading--- beginning with crafting a vision and moving through alignment and execution. Consider ways to adapt your natural style to be more effective.
  79. 79. Additional resources •Everything DiSC®Work of Leaders Profile •Work of Leaders: VISION training slides •Work of Leaders: ALIGNMENT training slides •Work of Leaders: EXECUTION training slides •Activities for Work of Leaders trainings •Work of Leaderssupplemental readings •The book: The Work of Leaders: How Vision, Alignment, and Execution Will Change the Way You Lead