I think about leadership a lot. I guess that's why I care so much about the development of leaders in organizations and spend so much of my work in that space. While there is a lot of talk about leadership, it's not often you meet people who exemplify the best of it. In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins describes the attributes of leaders at the five levels he has identified.
The Level 5 leader is the most effective, as defined by Collins. Such leaders are at the Pinnacle and are respected. People follow them because of who they are and what they represent. These are the leaders who walk the talk and live their lives the way they say they do.
I know two Level 5 leaders personally and am struck by the characteristics so clearly defined by Collins.
1. Humility. Yes, humility. Both of the leaders I'm speaking of illustrate this trait. While they have recognition of their talents, they shy away from praise, giving it instead, to the people on their teams. They recognize their success is due to the people who work with them. As one says, "I can take anything but a compliment". With so many people out in the world boasting about their accomplishments, I am always amazed at this kind of humility.
2. WILL. These men have high standards and constantly strive to improve and to do better. They recognize success and go to great lengths to achieve it. Not easily sidetracked, they know set goals and strategies and keep moving toward them until they are satisfied with the results. They know their mind, they adhere to their personal beliefs, and I suspect they don't suffer fools.
There is one more thing that I believe is key to their success. True Caring for People. This is the one that most impresses me, and I know it's what makes both of them successful. When speaking of their careers, both speak at length about the people they've managed. They go to extraordinary lengths to ensure those under their command are well cared for, treated with respect, listened to, and developed. Where many leaders will boast about their accomplishments, these two men deflect that kind of talk and praise their teams for the work they do.
These are just a few of my thoughts on the topic. For a complete discussion, pick up the book and give it a read. It's a good one.
By now, you know that LinkedIn is a vital tool for your career, whether you are actively or passively looking for a new job, or an independent consultant marketing to the public. You create a profile, maybe put up a picture and your employers/job titles, and stop there. While that's a good start, don't stop there. A half-written profile says more about you than no profile at all. LinkedIn profiles are the most requested service among my clients, and honestly, I love working on them. It's become an art form and it's important to know the elements to ensure are included. I recommend clients state clearly who they are professionally by thoughtfully thinking about their message and then building their profile accordingly.
Here are a few of my favorite tips:
1. YOUR PHOTO: Why are you on LinkedIn? What do you want people to know about you? What is your brand? Let's start there. If you are a professional working in an office environment, do you really think using a photo of you camping while on vacation conveys that message? Have a professional photo that reflects the image you wish to convey. There are dozens of articles on this topic. Click here for one. Also, add a background photo that reflects either your professional image or your profession. If you are a musician, choose a photo that reflects this. Go to Flickr.com, create an account for free, and download from an incredible amount of professional photos made available.
2. KEYWORDS: There are certain fields in your profile that are key to being found by those searching for someone with your skills and experience. Those two fields are your Headline and you most recent Job Title. Your Headline most likely reads something like: Senior Accountant at XYZ Company. Change it to the key words that are most relevant for you. Not sure what they are? Do some searches in LinkedIn's Advanced Job search or your favorite search engine and see what words are frequently used.
3. SUMMARY: Write a professional summary of your experience with a slightly personalized flair. Let the reader see your personality. Your resume is more sterile, but here is a chance to let the reader see a bit more about you. Don't go overboard, don't be silly, but try to infuse it with a bit of your personality. You'll be more than just words on a computer screen.
4. BE ACTIVE: On your home page, share articles, like other people's posts, or write a post if you enjoy writing. Choose topics that are relevant to your profession. And remember LinkedIn is NOT FACEBOOK. Save the details of your personal life, political commentary, or all those 'what's the first word you see' posts for Facebook. These do not add to your professional image.
5. LOOK AT OTHER PROFILES: One way to get noticed is to look at other people's profiles. First, be sure you don't show up as anonymous when you view profiles, then look around for people who work at companies you are interested in, or who could be hiring managers. You can be sure most will notice you looked at their profile, and they will look at yours. At best, they may reach out to you. At worst, they'll just ignore it. So, it's worth a try.
6. STILL STUCK? Look for articles on profiles and review profiles of others. See something you like? Use it as a guide. If all else fails, hire a career coach who is experienced in LinkedIn. They can provide a top notch profile that will grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. I had one client who had no fewer than 10 job interviews within a week of updating his profile. Don't you wish you had those kinds of results?
Just a few changes on your profile and usage can have a HUGE impact on your results. Give it a try.
Change is in the Summer wind here at Andrea Cole Consulting.
In order to better serve my clients and customers, I've moved to a new office space in Seattle's historic Pioneer Square, at Impact Hub Seattle. I'm so excited to be working in this vibrant community of purpose-driven ventures.
Leadership Development - I facilitate within your leadership development program to build leadership capacity, improve communication, break down silos, increase understanding among members of your organization.
Individual Coaching - Business, personal, and wellness coaching for individuals.
Action Learning - Action learning is a powerful tool for transforming individuals, teams, and organizations, creating better communication, systems thinking, synergy and leadership skills all while solving your organizations tough problems.
Career Coaching - Helping individuals seeking new employment learn the finer points of the job search in 2015. Resumes, Networking, LinkedIn profiles, Interviewing and Negotiations.
Who Are You?
An organization seeking to improve effectiveness of both individuals and teams.
An organization who can't seem to solve tough, recurring problems.
A leader who seeks coaching for yourself or others in your organization.
An individual who's ready to make a career move. Whether you know what that move is or not, we work together to help you get there.
Ready to change your life, your organization, your team?
Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was facilitating a workshop recently on holding self and others accountable for respect in the workplace. I was excited about the opportunity for two reasons: 1. It was for the local municipality in which I live, so there was a civic connection and 2. I love facilitating and helping achieve change in organizations.
The workshop was generated from an employee survey and the leadership wisely followed up on the results by asking me to conduct a workshop that addressed the topic. So, I did my homework and developed a 4-hour workshop that I believed would meet their needs. The timing was set, the flow made sense, and all the preparations were complete.
But, anyone who has ever facilitated knows to expect the unexpected. I arrived 40 minutes early, as is my practice to ensure the room was set up properly and all the required materials were present. With that done, I sat and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally one person appeared. Then, together, we waited, and waited. The start time came and went and still we sat. A few more people wandered in. We waited some more. At this point, I'm wondering if I had the right time, and double checked all communication. Yes, 8:00 it was. Finally, a little before 8:30 people started flowing in. They'd decided to have a team event prior to starting the workshop.
So, right off the bat, I was 30 minutes behind schedule in a very time-driven, exercise-packed workshop. What to do? I simply made last minute adjustments to my plan. I learned a long time ago to always, always have a Plan B. The workshop got off to a great start. Everyone was actively participating and engaged. A little more than halfway through, we hit a topic that was a hot spot for the group. Rather than the 10 minute debrief that was planned, we had a 20-30 minute discussion around this topic. It was clear to me that this was something that was needed. People needed to voice their thoughts and listen to one another. Since the topic was central to the purpose of the workshop, I chose to let the discussion role. There are times when, as a facilitator, you have to recognize when the spontaneous, free-flowing discussion will have a more significant outcome on the group that what you may have brought. This was one of those times.
As the conversation wound down and people felt heard, we were able to move on, and return to the now modified workshop schedule. And it went well. People stayed engaged; were perhaps even more engaged. Much was accomplished. Outcomes were realized. People walked away with immediate actions they could take to have an impact.
Later that night, I received an email from the leader of the group about how much people were still talking about the workshop and what they'd learned. As someone dedicated to helping organizations evolve and solve problems, there's not a higher compliment.
Action Learning has been taking off around the globe for 8 years. I love meeting with colleagues from around the world to learn how they use action learning. I'm often asked by clients in the US if action learning is cross-cultural, and the answer is a resounding Yes! I have many colleagues effectively using it in organizations from Thailand to Nigeria to England to China.
Below is a link to a recent post by the WIAL-Thailand affiliate about new coaches being certified. Exciting stuff!
Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your professional dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking guidance in building your career or preparing for retirement, she will coach you to success.