Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tools for Transformational Leaders

Foundational Tools

Values, Vision & Mission
On 3x5 index cards, make a list of what you value, group the list by category, subject or some other method and name each group. You can use a large flat surface like a dining room table or countertop. After you finish this exercise reflect on the results. After all this, type the results into a word processing document and print it out. Post is where you can review it for at lease one week.

Next, lest statements about your personal vision for your life, your career or your family. Group those statements in the same way and write a “Vision Statement” in a single, comprehensive, but brief form. This is a “Defining Statement” that describes your primary purpose, your vision for your life. Create a statement about the future and express it in present tense. A vision statement can be expressed in a brief response to a question in an elevator. It describes your purpose as a concept.
A Mission Statement is the application of your vision. Repeat the steps for constructing the vision statement, but do not limit the content. Let the content of this statement describe how you will accomplish your vision.

Powerful Goal Setting
Once you have identified what is important in your life and career, then and only then will you be able to construct and accomplish powerful goals for transformation. Goals should be S M A R T! That is:
Specific – define exactly what you want to accomplish
Measurable – define the quantifiable results, exactly as you want them to be
Accountable – share the goal with someone who will hold you accountable
Realistic – set goals that you have a reasonable chance of accomplishing
Timed – set a target date for completion

Transformational Leaders have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish and enlist the leaders around them to build the path to accomplishing that vision. It is essential that the leader articulates and shares the vision through SMART goals.

Alliances with professionals in a Mastermind group will provide unique support for success. Here are some basic tips for a Mastermind Alliance:
• Choose people you respect – learn from those who are successful.
• Set the size of the group – 4 to 6 is ideal; there is time for everyone to interact.
• Plan to meet on a regular basis – weekly or bi-monthly, but often enough to do good.
• Set the length of the meeting – one hour works unless there is a meal.
• Set a schedule that allows time for each person to share – stick to it.
• Ensure that each member is committed to the common goal.
• Challenge each other to stretch because of this group.

Relationship Tools

Collaboration vs. Competition
Ineffective leaders and dysfunctional teams work in a competitive environment. This is counter-productive to success in many cases. Establishing a collaborative climate where everyone celebrate the success of each team member and the success of the team as a whole will empower and enable maximum achievement with the least amount of conflict.

In some organizations, a collaborative climate is counter-intuitive and must be taught. Once the team experiences the power of collaboration, there will be no other choice that will suffice.

Team Strategies
Clearly define the structures and systems for process, especially the process for decision-making. Communicate each step to each person present as well as those missing from team session. Consider who else need to know the information. Those not on a team in a formal way can contribute in surprising ways to a project’s ultimate success.

Teams come together with a variety of skills and diverse background. Each person has an idea of how team process works and how decisions are made. Therefore, in order to prevent unproductive conflict, it is important that the team defines its guideline for operation and guidelines for what to do when decisions cannot be made easily and also what to do when things do not go as planned.

Empowering Those Whom You Lead
In order to have the leaders around you support a common vision, it is crucial that you let go of things that others can do and get out of the way so they can get going. Getting out of the way, however, does not mean abandonment. Give the encouragement, information and structure needed for success. Remember, if they look good, you look good.

Systems: Tools and Techniques

Effective Time Management
In order for the leader to be a effective leader, that person must be in command of his or her own schedule. Modeling good systems will inspire and encourage others to do the same. Integrity in leadership is doing what you preach. Manage your time and lead others to do the same.

Conducting Energized Meetings
One of the biggest quenchers of team enthusiasm is holding boring, unproductive meetings. If team members fell that their time is wasted, they are not encouraged to be productive in their own areas of responsibility.

Define the systems for process and have effective structure for defining options and making decisions together. Use visual aids when working with groups. It is important not only that team members know what to expect in team meetings, but moreover it is crucial that they know what their role is and what to expect next. It is also important that information for decisions be visible for a reminder of what the options are.

Leading Teams
Be the leader. Know who your team members are and what you can expect of them.
Working “Smarter” not “Harder”

Plan for success or you will be planning for failure. Working smarter means that you are in command of your schedule and that you know how much is expected of you and when it is expected. Planning prevents failure which saves time and energy. This is smarter!

Quality of Life: Tools for Balance

Personal Relationships
Make and keep relationship outside the workplace. Provide a change of pace and change in personalities for balance and variety. Don’t burn out with the same routine with the same people hay after day. Variety and rest will make a leader more productive.

Spiritual and Physical Health
Set and maintain a reading and exercise schedule for mental and spiritual balance an physical health. If a leader is felling good, then they can think more clearly and get more done.

Balance and Wholeness
Schedule reading, planning, rest, spiritual renewal time just like you schedule work. Keep track of your schedule for at least two weeks to see how its working.

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