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Posts Tagged ‘Acts of Leadership’

Fear of losing your job is certainly valid in this economy. But unfortunately that fear often provokes protectionist behavior that is likely to backfire for both employees and their companies.

The kind of behaviors I am referring to are things like: hoarding information or knowledge; shifting the blame for breakdowns to others; keeping your mouth shut hoping you’ll stay out of the line of fire; always agreeing with your boss so you stay on their good side; etc.

The list of things we might do, and perhaps have even done in the past, to protect our jobs is endless.

But will they actually work now?

These kinds of behaviors are certainly nothing new and are not unique to the current economy. However, I believe they are far more risky than ever before.

Why? Because while they MAY strengthen your individual position, consider that they WILL weaken your organization. And if your company goes down, saving your job becomes irrelevant.

The bottom line…your job is only as secure as the future of your company.

What is the Ultimate Job Protection Program?

I say it is being willing to act like a leader whether you are THE leader or not. It is speaking up, stepping up and standing up for the things that matter to the future success of your organization. You don’t have to be THE leader to be a leader in these difficult times.

Here are 5 ways you can start leading to help secure the future of your job by helping to secure the future of your organization.

1. STOP Blaming and START Offering Solutions

Blaming is a drain on precious time and energy. Want to be seen as indispensible? Be the person who always contributes to making things better.

2. STOP Hoarding Information and START Sharing It

Knowledge may be power for an individual, but sharing it powers successful organizations. Lead the way in sharing knowledge and you can be a catalyst for creating value and opportunity.

3. STOP Trying to Do It Alone and START Collaborating

No one person has all the answers. It is time to start find ways to tap the intelligence of your entire organization not just a limited few. Include new people in what seem like old conversations and you will gain fresh perspective. Find ways to engage the people who are less likely to speak up. You may be surprised at how much you learn.

4. STOP Reinforcing the “Status Quo” and START Challenging It

We can unwittingly reinforce the very things that are not working because it is uncomfortable to challenge the way things are done. But if your organization isn’t where it needs to be, chances are the ways things are being done are not working very well.

Remember to challenge the thinking not the person and you will increase the likelihood of both being heard and making a difference.

5. STOP Protecting Your Turf and START Acting Like One Organization

“Us vs Them” relationships are rampant in organizations. They are incredibly costly, too. Time to start acting like you are on the same team.

Assigning a shared (and meaningful) goal for two groups that have historically been at odds with each other is one way to create the opportunity to experience being on one team. This can be a very powerful way to start transforming an “us/Them” relationship into a “we”.

These are just a few examples of what we can do to support the companies we work for in being successful. Consider that if you start focusing your attention on how you can contribute to the success of your company, you will need to pay less attention to securing your job.

What can you do to make a difference in securing the future of where you work today?

If you are interested in learning more about how you can cost effectively increase leadership at all levels in your organization please contact Susan Mazza at susan@randomactsofleadership.com or (772)539-7003.

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No I am not talking about the theory that red cars get more tickets or have more accidents. Although that is a theory, there actually seems to be little evidence to support it. Besides, the question of whether they do or not is not as interesting to me as why they might. Perhaps it is because of their color alone. Then again, maybe the hype about red cars made them more noticeable. Why do we notice one thing and miss something else entirely? That is what I am talking about.

Pontiac Grand Am (no it's not a 1985 model)

Pontiac Grand Am (no it's not a 1985 model)

When I graduated from college I bought a red Pontiac Grand Am. And from then on I noticed two things while driving around: (1) how many red cars were on the road, and (2) how many Grand Am’s there were of all colors. We notice things that we have some personal connection to, whether that connection is based on our experience, our desires, our knowledge, or something else. Here’s why: because everything we have learned and experienced creates the context or lens through which we relate to the world. It shapes what we pay attention to amidst the daily onslaught of signals and information. It even shapes what we are capable of seeing or observing.

Creating a Simple Context for Observing Leadership in Action

That is why I believe it is so important to create a context for leadership that enables you to see it in action. If our context for leading is limited to grand gestures like Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech we will miss leadership in its simplest, most elemental form. If we want to be able to seize an opportunity to act as a leader in any given moment we must be able to perceive the moments of opportunities or they will pass by unnoticed like all the cars you drive by every day, but don’t really see. And if we cannot see leadership in the actions of others how will we be able to recognize it in ourselves?

The challenge here is to define leadership in action and in a way that it can be recognized by anyone. Because if you can recognize it you have access to doing it and to teaching others to lead as well. My equivalent of a “Red Car” for leadership is this: speaking up, stepping up and/or standing up for something you are committed to.

A Recent Example…

Danny Brown
posted an entry on Twitter on January 31st offering a free press release to the first 50 people donating $20 for his 12 for 12k fundraising challenge.

True, he happens to be the leader of this initiative. But the point is anyone could have done something similar – it was as simple as posting a 140 character “tweet”.

Your turn…

What acts of leadership have you observed? If none come to mind start looking for the “Red Car” and come back to tell us about what you observed. And please don’t worry about getting it right. We will all learn from looking at acts of leadership through your eyes.

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