Open Up to Positive Possibilities

We have shared a great deal of why Elegant Leadership is a crucial mindset for change.  Today, let’s look at how you can empower people when you apply these leadership principles and focus on what is working well – Build on the Strengths!

How can you model being a positive change leader? Focus on one simple behavior change you can make to embody positive leadership. If you apply this tactic as a trick or a temporary fix, because the evidence is compelling – it will fail miserably. Worse, you’ll lose credibility and severely damage your integrity because your motives and intent were manipulative. If you’re a Rockstar-type of leader, then find 1 thing to: stop doing, start doing, do more of and do less of.

DWYSYWD – Do What You Say You Will Do

People have a radar for authenticity. If you don’t mean it, if your heart isn’t ‘in it’ and ‘it’ doesn’t match your deep beliefs, then you will be found out. You’re expected to find people who believe what you believe, give them the tools and resources they need for effective sustainable change and coach them up by building relationships of value, encourage collaboration, establish and expect change, and remove the obstacles that come their way throughout the informal network of your culture.

You Need to Be You

Step 2 of the 7-Steps to Become an Elegant Leader with Voltage is to be comfortable in your own skin. Be you. Be the change you want to see on your team: change yourself. Be real, be authentic, be genuine by doing what you say you will do – DWYSYWD – and encourage others to join you on the journey to Be You – to be themselves.

If you apply Elegant Leadership in spite of earlier failed experiences through control, collaboration, competition, and failed change – then challenge the assumptions, perceptions and beliefs first. They’re so slight and have become such a habit, we rarely see it until it’s too late. Ask the question! Be challenging with the proper motive and intent, “Is it true people always refuse to change?” Note the absolute terms as an indication of this belief – and start to break teh pattern, that history and look for exceptions. “When did our people change some attitudes and behaviors during a change project?” In the book, Appreciative Leadership, Diana Whitney shares four characteristics of positive leaders to foster positive change:

♦     Believe in the power of positive

♦     Show you truly care about people

♦     Show a willingness to change and the capacity to change

♦     A willingness to engage within the community of your organization

Are you someone who enjoys going deeper? Below are three great articles of walking the walk – signs you’re with a great leader and how to apply what they know, how-to flip the script and instead of avoiding the pain of change, step into the positivity of Leading Elegantly you can apply immediately and the 8 traits that Elegant Leaders have developed along their journey.

There’s no such thing as perfect  – 8 Traits

Great words to Lead Elegantly –  8 Words

Comfortable as possible –  8 Signs

Read through these lists before you consider any stance and apply anything. If you’re not willing to step up and open up, if you’re not open to change yourself and engage with your team, if you don’t believe in the power of Elegant Leadership, and you don’t care about people as much as you do about results – then applying these proven principles is a waste of time.

Asking Is Learning 

Truly effective leaders are great listeners and one way they’re great listeners is they ask great questions. Many times they’ll ask a question in different iterations to listen for commitment vs. conviction. Huge difference!  Asking powerful questionss is a positive way to engage people, show you care to listen (good news and bad) and extends respect and trust. You’re interested in how others see things. You’re interested in the perspective and can share empathy on both favorable and unfavorable information and feedback. The serendipity is what you ask about is what people learn about! A question helps other focus their attention and will help all involved gather facts, assumptions, additional data (clean and not), and the conditions necessary for change to succeed.

Asking is learning! Edgar Schein says in his book, Humble Inquiry, a positive leader is aware  he or she depends on the team to achieve their shared goals – and to ask a question is to acknowledge the interdependency. In our Culture Influencing projects, we do this work together because it is so vital for leaders to understand the role of interdependency.

We were in a project a few years ago for a global comglomerate with the task of influencing their automotive division which crossed several continents, dozens of business units and thousands of people. There were legitimate concerns of either turning around performance or offering up the division or parts of the division for sale. With executive support from the President of North American Operations, together we turned the organization around within three years, purely and purposefully using the proven principles of Elegant Leadership through the power of people and positive leadership.

PPH and FPY productivity (pieces per hour and first-pass yield) for each product line almost doubled while the failure rate became so small it was almost insignificant. How? ‘I focus on the people. What we do is root-cause analysis of people. They are the most important factors for any change. I gain understanding of what’s going on by asking powerful questions and listening.’

Why didn’t they meet the target? Is it a lack of thinking power, tools, or motivation?

What and who are they afraid of?

What resources, elements, obstacles to be removed do they need to do this work well?

What is the real reason things went haywire?

‘Next, I coach peopleto help them adopt more positive thoughts and dilute the fear, anxiety and doubt along the way.’ Positive leadership comes down to building a relationship then a community of people who believe what you believe and coaching them to their potential. Nothing compares to actual practice, learning and experiencing the dynamic for yourself.

Complementary Advice. There are several simple, practical and powerful things you can  train your own positive mindset and lead others elegantly during times of crisis and change.

Practice gratitude by counting your blessings every day
Practice mindfulness: train your brain to notice details without judgment.
Give others a sincere compliment
Acknowledge people for their positive behaviors, such as helping a coworker, sharing information, thinking ahead, taking action, etc.
Shit happens. Acknowledge what went well and how you can amplify that
Look for a solution instead of the cause (let me deal with the cause)
Use “How” – how can we…? Instead of “why,” or “who.” How opens up possibilities and implies a solution: there will be a how-to-do-this, we just haven’t found it yet.
Have empathy and perspective as things will be okay and change will be successful as we communicate more often and solve problems together. Words create worlds!
Ask three times. Asking is engaging. When you ask genuine, open questions, and you are interested in the answers, people will share their ideas.

If you’re tired of tolerating mediocre performance, frustrated by output and worried what will happen if you were to ever take your eyes of of the day-to-day, then you’re in need to someone who can be your stake-in-the-ground to come alongside and support you. It’s not all hopeless. but if you don’t change anything, what do you think will happen? Give me a call or go here to see my private calendar and let’s talk through it. There’s no hook, no people to sift thru, no obligation and no pitch.

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