the ceo magazine, leadership tips,
Shayne Hughes & Brandon Black, Authors, Ego Free Leadership

A workplace without politics is as mythical as a unicorn. But when those politics undermine company morale, it’s time to take a closer look—before they cut into the bottom line.

Brandon Black was grappling with an all-too-familiar scenario in his then workplace. The erstwhile CEO of Encore Capital was struggling to grow the company given the challenging industry conditions. It didn’t help that a number of Encore’s leaders were locking horns with each other over a range of issues. Brandon himself was butting heads with one of his key executives, Dave.

No matter how hard they tried, Brandon and Dave couldn’t seem to communicate effectively with each other. To a bystander, their bickering would have recalled a married couple caught in a downward spiral—you know, conversations going nowhere, with each assuming the other was the problem, and that their communication would improve if only the other changed their behavior.

the ceo magazine, manage fear,
Andy Molinsky, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Brandeis International Business School

“Very few people, whether you’ve been in that job before or not, get into the seat and believe today that they are now qualified to be the CEO. They’re not going to tell you that, but it’s true.”

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks

In 2014 Roger Jones, chief executive of Vantage Hill Partners, a London-based consulting firm, did a fascinating study of the things that CEO’s fear the most.  You may think you could quite easily predict the results: a failing economy… foreign competition… the price of labor… but as it turns out, their biggest fear was something far more personal and insidious:  it was the fear of failing – and, to be even more specific, the fear of being viewed as a fake or a fraud.

According to a recent survey from the Institute of Health and Human Potential’s Women under Pressure initiative, only 32% of women feel their organization has the same amount of confidence in them as they do in their male counterparts.   This confirms the “confidence gap” exists – and women often feel less capable, prepared and willing to take risks than their male colleagues.

When women don’t feel their organization has confidence in them, there’s a serious business impact as women may:

If you’re a leader, a healthy dose of fear can be a good thing. In fact, if fear doesn’t push you to take a risk, to up your game, to push to top performance, you may hit rock bottom in your career. That’s especially true if you’re plan to speak before large groups of employees, customers, or colleagues.

Speaking can be a high-stakes proposition in the age of Periscope, Instagram, and live Facebook or Twitter feeds out to the world. Audience members do not take kindly to an unprepared rambler wasting their time on irrelevant topics.

the ceo magazine, leadership qualities,
Ilene Marcus, Author, Managing Annoying People: 7 Proven Tactics To Maximize Team Performance

How can leadership be a better job?  As a boss, all eyes are on us whether we like it or not.  Our key responsibility is to embody the soul of our company’s efforts; to display the values and commitment of our brand proposition.  That’s our job no matter what is going on in our head, our personal life, or with our feelings.  When we are distracted, reactions become visceral.  Acting on instinct is usually primal.  If you can’t identify the emotion, especially in a business setting, your expressions signal your customers, funders, board, and team.   What do they signal?  That’s the billion-dollar question.  What do your reactions convey to those you are leading?

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