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Creating Successful Leaders

Leadership is one of those things organizations can take for granted. They expect their new managers to step into their role equipped with leadership acumen. New managers, on the other hand, are often hesitant to admit their shortcomings, since they feel pressured to “prove themselves” in their new position. Asking too many basic questions might show incompetence or weakness, and that isn’t the impression they want to leave on their team.

The result of the disconnect between organizations and their leaders is that leadership skills are often not taught, but learned on the fly. That can work to a certain extent, but some lessons are hard-learned, and some skills are never learned at all.

Don’t leave it up to chance. Training managers (whether they’re new or not) in crucial leadership skills is not only a benefit to the manager, but to the organization as a whole. With the right training, managers can streamline communication, increase their effectiveness, improve team dynamics, and more.

But I know what you’re thinking: “Training can be expensive and time consuming. My organization is running on a lean budget, and we can’t afford to send our managers to a week of training.”

To mitigate costs and gain flexibility, consider exploring virtual learning…

What is Virtual Learning?

Virtual learning–sometimes referred to as online learning or e-learning–is an approach to education that allows students to participate in courses from anywhere, provided they have a computer and an internet connection. It enables people to access education from the comfort of their own home or office, removing the need to travel to a physical location.

Many virtual courses, such as my online leadership course, are learn-at-your-own pace, meaning the student can log in whenever they have a few free minutes.

The Benefits of a Virtual, On-Demand Leadership Course

Virtual learning has quickly become a preferred method of education for busy professionals. Below are some of the benefits of taking a virtual, on-demand leadership course:

It Provides Tailored Learning

Virtual learning courses provide a variety of learning mediums, from videos to reflection exercises to writing activities. This type of learning appeals to a wide range of people, as it allows individuals to pick the format that resonates best with them.

It’s Low Cost

Virtual learning courses are often much more affordable than traditional courses. This is because they don’t have the overhead costs associated with physical classrooms and resources, such as textbooks. Even though the courses are not directly taught by an instructor, you usually can access the course creator to ask any specific questions.

It’s Flexible

One of the most significant benefits of virtual learning is flexibility. Students can go at their own pace, allowing them to fit education into their busy schedules. For individuals who have full-time jobs, families, or other commitments, this can be a game-changer.

It Keeps Skills Up To Date

Even a seasoned leader’s skills can go stale if they do not regularly use them. If they, for example, do not regularly engage in difficult conversations, they may not know the best way to approach them. By taking online leadership courses, these skills can be refreshed and enhanced.

It’s Interactive

Virtual learning courses are designed to be interactive. Many online courses include opportunities for activities, discussions, deep reflection, immersive projects, and other activities that encourage interaction.

It’s Fun!

Virtual learning courses can be fun! Unlike traditional courses, virtual courses often leverage multimedia to make learning more engaging and enjoyable. Through a mix of videos, games, and interactive activities, virtual courses can make leadership education more exciting and stimulating.

Virtual learning is an excellent way for busy professionals to develop their leadership skills. By taking a virtual, on-demand course, individuals can work at their own pace, tailor their learning to their preferences, and keep their skillsets up-to-date. So why not give virtual learning a try? It could be the game-changer you need to take your leadership skills to the next level.

For more information on my online course, The 10-Minute Leadership Challenge, click here!



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For the past few years, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has been a hot topic in the workplace. Companies have pledged billions of dollars to DEI initiatives (although they haven’t necessarily followed through with those pledges), have hired DEI directors and consultants, and have declared their support of DEI efforts. While these intentions are good, not all of this work has been effective or impactful. It’s easy to talk about doing something, and far more difficult to follow through in a meaningful way. When it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, it’s not enough to make surface level changes; this work requires collaboration, strategy, data, and the will to take meaningful actions. Here are 5 actions you, as a leader, can take:

1. Create a Diversity and Inclusion Council

Creating a diversity and inclusion council is a great way to involve a variety of employees at different levels of the company in the work of promoting diversity and inclusion. This council can help develop and implement diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout the company, and help ensure that different perspectives are represented. Remember: make an effort to invite a wide variety of people to serve on this council. It can be counterproductive for a fairly homogenous group to make decisions that will affect others with very different backgrounds and experiences.

2. Collect Data

If you don’t have data about diversity metrics, how will you know when and if your DEI initiatives are working? This data could be quantitative (stats about demographics, numbers related to hiring practices, promotion rates, etc.) or qualitative (responses to surveys, complaints or negative feedback, testimonials from either private meetings or forums, etc.). Collecting diversity metrics can be a powerful way to identify areas where the company is excelling and where improvements can be made. Once the data is collected, use it to inform strategies and initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion.

3. Embed DEI Principles into Performance Goals

Incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into performance goals can help ensure that these values are front and center in the work that employees do every day. When employees see that DEI work is valued and rewarded, they are more likely to take it seriously and make it a priority in their own work.

4. Review and Update Policies

Policies that are not inclusive can have a negative impact on diverse employees. Reviewing and updating policies to ensure they are inclusive is a crucial step in promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This includes policies around hiring, promotion, performance evaluations, and workplace accommodations.

5. Foster a Culture of Inclusion

Creating a culture of inclusion requires effort from everyone in the company. Leaders can set the tone by modeling inclusive behavior and encouraging others to do the same. This includes listening to diverse perspectives, actively seeking feedback, and ensuring everyone feels valued and respected. It also means creating opportunities for employees from diverse backgrounds to participate in decision-making and leadership roles.

While it’s beneficial to conduct diversity and inclusion training, don’t stop there! And don’t make this a one-time endeavor. DEI work must be ongoing and embraced by people at all levels of the company, from the leadership to support staff.

Incorporating meaningful diversity and inclusion actions in the workplace is necessary for creating a more equitable and welcoming environment for all employees. It requires a strategic and collaborative effort from everyone in the company—all voices and contributions make a difference. While these five actions are a good starting point, they should not be the end goal. Companies must continue to prioritize diversity and inclusion and be open to ongoing adaptation and improvement. True progress requires ongoing effort and a willingness to adapt and improve.


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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

As a leader, it’s important to foster a culture of accountability within your team. Holding your team accountable does not have to come at the expense of compassion or empathy. In fact, heart-led leadership can be very powerful, even when you have to draw a line in the sand at times and hold your people accountable for their words, behaviors, and actions. Here are six steps you can take to create a culture of accountability within your team:

Step 1: Clearly Define Expectations

The first step to creating a culture of accountability is to clearly define expectations. Make sure everyone on your team knows what is expected of them, whether in terms of individual goals or team goals (make sure everyone is on board with a shared vision). This can be done through one-on-one meetings or team meetings where expectations are laid out and discussed.

Step 2: Set SMART Goals

Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals is an effective way to hold your team accountable. These goals should be aligned with company objectives and should be reviewed regularly to ensure progress is being made. The “M” in SMART goals is particularly important because it ensures that progress can be measured and tracked.

Step 3: Provide Ongoing Feedback

Regular feedback is key to holding your team accountable since it allows you to address any issues early on and make adjustments as needed. Make sure to provide both positive and constructive feedback on a regular basis to keep your team on track. This feedback can be given individually or, if appropriate, during team meetings. I usually recommend using the D4 model, which stands for Data, Depth of Feeling, Dramatic Interpretation, and Do. To learn more about this model, view my past blog post on the topic.

Step 4: Lead by Example

As a leader, it’s important to lead by example. This means holding yourself accountable as well as your team. Make sure you are following through on your commitments and are meeting your own goals. This will set the tone for your team and help create a culture of accountability.

Step 5: Encourage Ownership

Encouraging ownership is another effective way to create a culture of accountability. When someone feels like they truly have a stake in a project AND the power to make a significant contribution, they are more likely to take ownership and be accountable for the outcome. Give your team members autonomy and empower them to make decisions and take responsibility for their work.

Step 6: Celebrate Successes

Finally, celebrate successes! Recognize when your team members meet their goals, achieve a milestone, or exceed expectations. This creates a positive team culture and reinforces the importance of accountability. Celebrating successes can be done through verbal recognition, awards, or team outings.

Creating a culture of accountability is key to the success of any team. By following these six steps, you can start creating a culture of accountability that is both compassionate and effective (you can have both!). Foster growth and success for your team and your organization through intelligent accountability practices.


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