Previous month:
September 2009
Next month:
November 2009

October 2009

Leadership & Management: What's the Difference?

Discussion boards all over the internet debate the difference between leadership and management. What is the difference between leading and managing? Can managers lead? Can leaders manage? Are they both essentially the same?

Based on my experience and research, I believe the following:

While there are differences between leaders and managers, both are necessary and complimentary in organizations. Both exist to serve others. In my next few posts we'll discuss these statements in greater detail, so stay tuned!

What are your thoughts or experiences about leadership and management? Where do you fit in to the equation? Please leave your thoughts in a comment and let's start some discussion!

The Dominant Director: Tony Allessandra video

Assessments are great tools to develop self-awareness about our behavior. I love the DISC assessment for behavior analysis because each of the styles is easily recognizeable and applied into our lives once you know the DISC "language". Its great to know how to treat people how they want to be treated. 

Today I want to share a short video I found today at Roberta Hill's  Assessments Today blog. In this video, author and speaker Dr. Tony Allessandra, co-author of People Smart,  provides a glimpse into the mind of the first style in the popular DISC assessment tool, the Dominant Director (D). You will learn about their strengths, weaknesses and even see two actors playing the part of the "D". 

As you watch the video, keep in mind that a lot of us are blends of the various styles D, I, S, or C. Additionally we have all learned to adapt to our environment at various levels.That's why, as Dr. Allessandra says in this video, no two D's (or any of the other styles for that matter) behave exactly alike.

When you are finished watching, consider the following:

  • Who do I know that behaves similarly to the "D"?
  • How would a "D" want to be treated?
  • If you are a "D", what did you learn? What behavior modification would most impact your life?

Remember, all four DISC styles have their unique strengths and weaknesses. When we get to know ourselves better and recognize the behavior styles of others, we can greatly increase our effectiveness with people.

Questions or comments about what you've just learned? Please leave a comment below or contact me directly if you would like to hear more about how an assessment might benefit you!

Other DISC-related posts: 
Leadership and DISC: Who is the best?
DISC Styles: Are you the tortoise or the hare?

Making the Most of Your Strengths

All of us are known for something, whether it be for accomplishments, passions or behaviors. One commonality we all share is that most of us want to be known for our strengths rather than our weaknesses.

The tricky part is that any strength overextended becomes a weakness. For example, a dominant director could come across as bossy and egotistical. A fun-loving  communicator might also be known for being a poor listener or for disorganization. A detail-oriented analyzer could be seen as too picky or suffer from "paralysis by analysis". The easy-going stabilizer may spend so much time building consensus that nothing gets done.

For our strengths to help rather than hinder us, it is important to become intimately familiar with them. There are three keys to making the most of our strengths and maximizing our potential. We need to:

  1. Know our strengths.
  2. Recognize how others might respond to our strengths.
  3. Critique our strengths by analyzing how and when they get overextended and manifest as weaknesses.

How familiar are you with your strengths and their impact on others? How do you get "overextended"? Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment so others can learn from you. Self-knowledge is foundational for becoming a person of influence. Get to know yourself better today for a more successful tomorrow.

Coach's Challenge: Make a list of your strengths this week and after each label, identify how the attribute might be perceived in a negative light. What do you need to change?

If you would like help in identifying your strengths/weakness and modifying your behavior to enhance your communication/leadership influence, coaching with some assessment tools may be for you. Contact Janna Rust at [email protected] for more information.

October Leadership Development Carnival

Interested in seeing what other great leadership bloggers are saying around the blogosphere?  Then check out the October 2009 Leadership Development Carnival over at Leader Talk, the Mountain State University Leadership blog written by Becky Robinson.

She's listed all of the participants this month as well as summarized their blog postings for their carnival entries.  Check it out for some great resources and for a great link to a list where you can follow all of your favorite leadership tweeters on Twitter!

The Challenge of Change

How many times have you tried to change a habit, only to fall off the “wagon” and revert back to your old ways? If you are like me, you can’t precisely answer this question because you’ve done it too many times to count.

Practically speaking, can a person really form a new habit in only 21 days as we’ve heard from self-help gurus galore? Habits are the routines of life, those things that we do without thinking. In many cases, habits are those things we have done all of our lives. Lasting change requires time, focus and motivation to overcome life long patterns.

As managers and leaders we need to remember that behavior change takes time when we expect change from ourselves or those we lead.  Ask any leadership coach you know and they will tell you that it can sometimes take many months for their clients to truly implement permanent change into their lives.  While not impossible, change is difficult in our fast-paced culture.

What one thing needs to change in your environment or in you? When you decide what one thing that is, find someone to hold you accountable for the change, be patient with yourselves and others and be sure to connect well with what motivates you.  Change is challenging, but possible, even if it might take more than 21 days!

In what ways have you been the most successful with behavior change? What is your experience with those you coach or lead?  Please share your thoughts or tips in a comment.  We’d love to hear from you!