Ten Steps to Leadership Excellence

March 11-12, 2015:  Two days with the United States Marine Corps Logistic Base (MCLB), Barstow, CA and Dr. Debra Dupree, sponsored by SKILLPATH Corporate Strategies.

A good leader is the lifeblood of any organization. Under his or her direction, your team knows where it’s headed, understands what’s expected and gets the job done.  Goals are met and success is achieved. It’s a “both-gain” outcome in the end.

I worked with 20 leaders at MCLB over two days in March and we laughed, we learned, we explored, and uncovered the challenges to being great leaders.  It was invigorating to see the eyes light up and energy level soar as participants gained insight and new learning as to the possibilities available.  We took real life problems and came up with solutions on what to do differently moving forward.  Here’s what the folks at MCLB learned:

  • How to inspire their teams to achieve true greatness—personally, professionally and for their organization.
  • How to make decisions quickly, rationally and appropriately for their organization.
  • How to overcome barriers by confidently overseeing and guiding all levels of employee performance.
  • The secrets and strategies that make a successful and effective leader.
  • How to gain leadership confidence to effectively command groups, large or small .
  • Understanding leadership styles and how to best use it to their group’s advantage.
  • Removing the barriers to creative leadership thinking and problem solving.
  • Building solid teams that can dramatically multiply their chances for success.
  • Learning the latest performance management tools.
  • How to minimize and solve performance problems early.

No matter what you’ve already achieved, no matter where you are in the organization, no matter what your leadership goals may be, you can profit from learning more about focused leadership philosophy, leadership excellence, emotional intelligence, communication skills building and practical application of what you learn.  Just like all of us know how to breathe, few of us do it really effectively.  Is this what happens to your leadership?

Here’s what a couple of key participants had to say as we wrapped things up…

“Eloquently and magnificently presented!  Unique and creative delivery style while clearly teaching the message. Dr. Dupree is a gift as a presenter and has instilled very positive and enriching changes that I am motivated to implement and reflect on daily.  Please bring her back!“

– S. Lamey, Division Head, Fitness/Wellness/Health Promotion

“Dr. Dupree did an excellent job.  I have a hard time buying into philosophies normally, and tend to “critical think” them to death.  This information was logical and presented in a way that I like to learn.”

– P. Frisbie, Financial Management Analyst, Marine Corps Logistics Base

Is this what you would like to hear your leadership say?  Contact me now to bring me to YOUR organization.  Schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation to take the next step!

DrDebraDupreeDr. Debra Dupree is a business mediator and leadership coach with over 25 years of experience.  Dr. Dupree brings humor, insight, and to leadership development as a motivational speaker, psychotherapist for executives, and conflict coach.  Contact her now to learn more about what she uncovered in her 2014 Doctoral Dissertation on the psychology of good bosses versus bad bosses.

Phone:     1.800.743.1973

Twitter:    @RTMcoach

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/debradupreerelationshipcoach

Email:       dr.dupree@relationships-at-work.com

Five Tips to Avoid a “Bad Boss” Reputation

Nearly every working adult reports having an intolerable boss at one point in his or her lifetime.  Conflict, and the toll it takes, surfaces through acts of bullying, bad boss practices, personality clashes, dysfunctional teams, and strained executive-leadership relations at CEO and board level positions.   California now has new legislation (AB 2053) in place that calls for mandatory training on the prevention of abusive conduct.

What does this mean to your organization?  This is not just about compliance!  It is truly a “cost” issue that leaders often ignore, writing them off as “people issues.”  What it really means is 50% less productivity and 44% less profitability.  In a time of competitive advantage when most companies need to work lean and mean, the impact and cost of bad bossing and poor leadership practices is no longer something that can be ignored.
A 2008 Gallup poll addressing the “State of the American Workplace”  conducted across one million employees revealed that the No. 1 reason people quit their jobs is because of a bad boss.  Companies need to not only hire the right managers, but need to make sure they have the skills to manage and motivate others.  And, it starts at the top. Promotions into leadership roles are often used as rewards for technical expertise or profitability.

People in leadership positions seldom possess the emotional intelligence and communication skills to effectively deal with people or fear dealing with the emotions that drive behavior.  However, the last 10-15 years of neuroscientific discoveries amply demonstrate that all behavior and all cognitions are driven by emotion.  Too often, people react to what they see, what they hear, and what’s being said, without going “below the water line.”

Here are five tips for developing personal mindfulness to avoid a “bad boss” reputation:

  1. Awareness—Identify your own cultural worldview.  How attuned are you to those around you, the impact of your behavior on others and the impact of their behavior on you?
  2. Attitude—Examine your attitude toward cultural differences.  Do you have internal biases towards people of other backgrounds, from different age groups, or from different parts of the country or world?
  3. Knowledge—Expand your knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews.  Learn more about those you work with…use the power of connections to find out why people are motivated to work for your company, what are their goals, and what are they good at and not so good at.
  4. Interpersonal skills—Learn to relate.  Do you know the names of your employees and co-workers?  What do you know about them?  Learn the power of open-ended questions and the four-part exchange to structure meaningful conversations.
  5. Willingness—Be open to the idea of changing your own behavior.  As Stephen Covey says, seek first to understand before seeking to be understood.  Are you getting the kind of results you want?  How does your behavior impact others and contribute to less than positive outcomes?   Time to do some self-assessment!

Over the last 30 years, investing in leadership development, communication skills, and emotional intelligence was considered a waste of time and investment with little impact on the bottom line.  However, in today’s enlightened leadership climate, investment in people management skills seems to be the most profitable answer to making miserable employees not so miserable and bad bosses into great leaders.   Why?  Bad bosses negate the work benefits and organizational profitability while good bosses lead employees to increased revenue.

What next steps can you take to avoid a reputation as a “bad boss?”

First, be curiously courageous and ask for input from your trusted colleagues – what is their perception of the impact of your behavior on others?

Next, meet with a coach to explore further assessment of your style and which behaviors may be contributing to such a perception by others.

Then, develop and implement a plan of action over the next 30-, 60- and 90-days to develop new skills, increase awareness of constructive conflict management skills, and practice to make permanent (not perfect).

Lastly, maintain a journal throughout this process, capturing difficult moments, “Aha” moments of insight and realization, and revisit the process at 30-, 60- and 90-day intervals to see what has changed; and, plan for your next step of enlightened leadership development.

So, how much is conflict costing your organization and you don’t even know it!  Take steps to measure what you’re losing and how much you can regain.

2015-03-14 10.46.27Dr. Debra Dupree is a business mediator and leadership coach with over 25 years of experience.  Dr. Dupree brings humor, insight, and to leadership development as a motivational speaker, psychotherapist for executives, and conflict coach.  Contact her now to learn more about what she uncovered in her 2014 Doctoral Dissertation on the psychology of good bosses versus bad bosses.