I love this article by WordPress blogger, LeadershipFreak:
Stretched, Not Crushed
Every time things start going wrong we look to the leader for solutions. Beware! The pressure to provide solutions crushes leaders. When solutions come from the top, organizations crumble from the bottom.
A C-level leader recently said, “When I wake up stressed out over problems in the night, I know I’ve forgotten it’s about the team. Things go better when I include others.”
Stretching others: Leaders who can’t ask people to do hard things can’t get hard things done. Meaningful contributions require deep commitment and effort. Weak leaders assume others can’t or won’t step up. They rule out before they ask.
Ruling out: That’s too hard for them. Making it easy prevents people from stepping up. Give people the opportunity to do hard things. I’m not suggesting you intentionally make things hard for others.
They already contribute so much. Translation, they can’t make meaningful contribution in new areas.
They wouldn’t be interested.
They’re too valuable where they are. If anyone says that to you, update your resume’.
The big ask: The big ask is about values before programs. Programs, methods, and techniques are small things when compared with the power of shared values. Align shared values before making the big ask.
It’s the team:
Carrying the load alone crushes;
carrying the load together stretches.
Shared values are magnetic; they pull people together. Success is always about people before it’s about programs and initiatives. People committed to shared values make deep commitments to each other. Connections sustain and energize when things get hard. Blame separates and defeats.
How do you ask others to do hard things?
What should be in place before you ask for deep commitments?
Storytelling has long been a vehicle for creating a journey of the imagination, a journey in which a transformation happens. In his March 2012 Fast Company article, “Using Great Storytelling To Grow Your Business,” Kaihan Krippendorff writes about how to use effective storytelling to drive change and growth in an organization. He references a tool called a Story Spine, which is a simple bunch of sentence stems that provide the skeleton for building a story. The Story Spine is a tool developed by Kenn Adams as a way for improvisers (actors who work without a script) to build a classic story.
The basic Story Spine structure
Once there was… And every day… Until one day… And because of that… And because of that… And because of that… Until finally… And so…
Optional ending line: The moral of the story is…
Sound familiar? Many fairy tales and children’s stories, as well as novels and movies, fit in this story structure. Elegant & easy! So, what if we could use story spines to map out a vision for changing ourselves? Simple genius! Here’s a great Harvard Business Review article that guides us on using Story Spines to craft a vision for changing our own circumstances: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/07/a_simple_exercise_to_help_you.html.
There are hundreds of possible Story Spine variations, and here’s one:
[The balance]: Once upon a time … and every day …
[The un-balance]: But then one day …
[The quest for a resolution]: … and because of that … and so … until finally ….
[The new balance]: … and ever since that day ….
Now, how will you use a Story Spine to create change in your own life? Share your thoughts in a comment here!
In his article, “Mentoring and On-Boarding: Two Peas in a Pod,” Talent Management’s Frank Kalman makes a compelling case for mentorship as a game-changing onboarding tool. I’m going to take a leap by extending Kalman’s theory, and say that I believe that you (yes, you, dear reader) are an expert in onboarding mentorship. Curious? Read on…
You Are an Onboarding Expert
Since you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you’re interested in the topics of mentoring and onboarding (either that, or you’re my mom, who reads all my posts – because that’s what mentors do – invest in their peeps). No doubt you’ve been “onboarded” in an organization before – be it your workplace, your place of worship, or your neighborhood association. And I’m betting that somebody helped you with the ropes when you joined that organization. That mentee experience in itself gives you a certain amount of mentoring mavenship. You know what good (or not good) mentorship feels like.
Let’s now transform this expertise of yours into a reward. It’s time to get you published in the blogosphere!
Take five minutes to participate in this Mini-Mentoring Contest and you could win a featured “Guest Author” spot on the Leadership and Learning Innovation site. Here’s how:
Compelling mini-stories, theories of mentorship, or even 3-word mantras on the secrets of onboarding mentorship will be considered for publication in the next Leadership & Learning Innovation article in this series, “There’s No Ship Like Mentorship.”