Earlier this year I went on an interview at an organization that I’ve been wanting to work for since I’ve graduated with my Psychology degree.
Instantly, I noticed some red flags while taking a tour of the facility, asking questions, as well as speaking with some of the seasoned employees. Needless to say, I immediately decided not to work there.
Having been in a leadership position for over 6 years at a previous company, I knew exactly what to look for in regards to effective leadership. I couldn’t find a trace of it within that organization.
The early warning signs…
Some people, including myself, has made the assertion that social media is simply a mirror. But if that were true, that would mean social media is reflecting the worst parts of humanity.
There’s something about social media that turns people into monsters.
I use to think it was due to a psychological phenomenon called “deindividuation” but that was long before I took the time to observe how social media works in practice. According to Britannica.com
Deindividuation, phenomenon in which people engage in seemingly impulsive, deviant, and sometimes violent acts in situations in which they believe they cannot be personally identified…
And when the argument is over, and you’ve kissed and made up, your loved ones — that you vented to late at night, ugly crying over FaceTime to, are still harboring the feelings you’ve transferred to them about the bastard that broke your heart.
Many people have made it a practice to vent to friends, family members — even social media about petty issues between them and their significant others.
The issue with this, is that our friends and families care about us. And they don’t want to see us hurt.
They’ll always be on our side.
When we vent…
I’m a huge believer in leadership experience coming from actually being in a leadership role.
But books saved me a massive amount of time that I would have spent making mistakes.
I started reading leadership books before I was elected to union leadership so I had the luxury of putting leadership theory from books to the test.
Being in a position to test and tweak leadership theories worked well in my role because I had mentors that allowed ample room for failure — ultimately leading to me learning a lot in real-time.
Most of the material I read was accurate…
I was a union leader for six years in The Bronx, New York.
And as some of you might know, New York City is rough — especially when it comes to communication.
But I had the luxury to hone my communication in a tough environment filled with old school union veterans stuck in their ways.
It was a challenge because I was the youngest union steward that building had and getting the older guys to respect a leader younger than them was no easy task.
Despite the odds, I earned my keep.
And I came out with valuable insights that…
When I first became a union leader, I thought I could just wing it.
I didn’t think much of planning or being strategic in anyway. I thought it would be enough to let the wind carry me while I free-styled the execution of my vision.
I ended up getting almost nothing done throughout the first year of my first term.
It became apparent that I was letting my team down, so I had to give up my fly-by-night approach to leadership and adopt a framework.
Here’s the framework I embraced for straightforward strategic planning.
High-performance teams don’t come together by chance. They’re designed.
And teams are maintained by underlying principles that are universal across many types organizations.
Principles are the building blocks of effective strategy.
And these principles ultimately dictate the caliber of teams you lead.
In other words, the quality and effectiveness of principle-based strategy determines whether or not your team perform at a high-level.
Effective strategies built on principles mint empowered individuals. And empowered individuals within your team will go above and beyond to achieve high-quality results for your organization.
During my time as a union leader, I’ve spent most of my…
We tend to hate things that made a bad first impression on us. And if given the appropriate opportunity, we can fall in love with with the things we hate
In undergrad, I started out taking remedial mathematics classes because my high school mathematics scores were terrible. By the time I finished undergrad, I’d taken, and scored high, in every required mathematics class for my engineering degree, including differential equations(my favorite).
I’ve always loved engineering but I hated math — until I was fortunate to get a professor that made it exciting to learn.
I also hated public speaking. Speaking…
When you can skillfully pull your team together to meet change with a united front, there’s no set of changes you can’t manage.
Change is uncomfortable for all of us. We have the tendency to cling to the familiar while fearing the unknown.
And for good reason.
Change can be detrimentaldepending on the situation. Niccolo Machiavellia said:
“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”
While fear of change is normal, it can compromise growth…
During my time as a union steward, I spent over fifty percent of my time in conflict resolution meetings.
Conflict is inevitable.
And it can get tricky because the ego is involved.
But, conflict isn’t the real challenge, being able to effectively resolve conflict is where the issue presents itself for many leaders.
Before I introduce a few tactics that helped me solve conflicts, I’d like to suggest a mindset shift — that conflict is an opportunity and should be embraced.
It’s an opportunity to flesh out strengths, weaknesses and truths about the parties involved.
In other words, think of…