I just finished reading, “Step Up: Lead In Six Moments That Matter” by Henry Evan & Colm Foster. A good read & challenging for any person that oversees people. It will sharpen your axe so to speak. Here’s a synopsis taken straight from the book. Enjoy! 

A leadership moment is an instance when you must make a choice. In this book, we are going to share six critical leadership moments and what the highest-performing people—whatever their title—do when they are in one of those moments. Stepping up to exercise leadership in those moments will make the biggest difference for you in your own leadership journey. 

Use Negative Emotion Wisely

Everyone has heard that people should suppress or even completely avoid feelings such as anger or frustration in the workplace. But you can leverage your negative emotions to produce positive outcomes. Most of us operate on the principle that thinking would be better, clearer, and more efficient if we kept our feelings out of it. But our thinking is completely bound up with our feelings—rather than seeing ourselves as thinking machines that have feelings, it would be more accurate to say that we are feeling machines that are capable of thought. 

Avoid Terminal Politeness

In many organizations, authentic, robust debate and challenge have been replaced by what we call terminal politeness. There are leadership opportunities when people are being so polite that serious issues never come to the surface and they tactically dodge having the conversations they should be having. The best organizations aren’t filled with drones, but a diverse group of people who leverage their diversity in a collaborative way. They enjoy an optimal level of conflict. 

Be More Decisive

Leaders have the ability to commit to a course of action in the face of both fear and doubt. They exercise decision leadership, which we consider to be the ability to balance intuition with data and the ability to proactively take intelligent risks. When others are “stuck” or “frozen” in a state of indecision, the person who steps up and declares a decision is the leader in that moment. 

Be More Aware of Your Need to Change

Moments of leadership present themselves when the people around you are stuck in old ways of thinking and behaving. Organizations don’t change until their people change. The ability to change is the core competency required in today’s operating environment. Genuine transformation and the ability to continually learn and adapt only come when people open up to the possibility that they themselves will need to alter their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Making real change in yourself is the essential first step in leading change in others. 

Leverage the Wisdom of Pessimists

You want some degree of pessimism in your meetings and should appreciate the people who consistently bring pessimism to the table. They can create real value in your organization, but not by your making them into me-too optimists. Coach them how to present their negative bias and concerns in a way that allows others to hear and value their perspective. Those same pessimists, though always appreciated, should not be in leadership roles. 

Reverse the Momentum of Negative Interactions

Organizations in which people, especially senior people, speak negatively about each other are detrimental to the environment required to develop leaders. Leaders grow best in a compassionate and nurturing environment that challenges them in a supportive way. The leaders in an organization are the people who habitually move from stating problems to finding solutions. Whenever they sense that negative momentum is building, they immediately convert it to a solution-oriented dialogue. 

Create Emotional Safety

If you are high on the organizational chart and make big decisions, you need to be the best-informed person in the room—so it’s critical that you take on the necessary role of Director of Emotional Safety. Unless you make it safe for people to bring you bad news and to honestly discuss problems and failures, you’ll get information that’s distorted by people’s fear of your reactions, especially if the news is about you. Bad news is suppressed until it has to be shared, and good news is overplayed. Unless you create emotional safety for your organization, you may be deluded about the quality of the data you’re receiving, and there may be people around you who want to keep you in that deluded state. 

If you’re interested in purchasing this book? You can get it here: http://amzn.to/2iOgHPU

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